The second USS Ohio was a ship of the line of the United States
Navy. She was designed by Henry Eckford, laid down at New York Navy
Yard in 1817, and launched on 30 May 1820. She went into ordinary
and in the ensuing years decayed badly. Refitted for service in
1838, Ohio sailed on 16 October 1838 to join the Mediterranean
Squadron under Commodore Isaac Hull. Acting as flagship for two
years, she protected commerce and suppressed the slave trade off the
African coast. Ohio proved to have excellent performance under sail,
repeatedly making more than 12 kn (14 mph; 22 km/h). One of her
officers stated, "I never supposed such a ship could be built - a
ship possessing in so great a degree all the qualifications of a
perfect vessel." In 1840, Ohio returned to Boston where she again
went into ordinary. From 1841-1846, Ohio served as receiving ship.
To meet the needs of the Mexican-American War, Ohio was
recommissioned on 7 December 1846, and sailed on 4 January 1847 for
the Gulf of Mexico, arriving off Veracruz on 22 March. Ohio landed
10 guns on 27 March to help in the siege of Veracruz; but the city
Ohio drew too much water for coastal operations in the gulf.
However, 336 of her crew participated in the Tuxpan River
Expedition. In 1847, the entire distance from the mouth of the river
to the town was covered with thick jungle growth. The enemy had
constructed three well-positioned forts on bluffs overlooking bends
in the river. On 18 April, Commodore. Matthew Perry arrived off the
mouth of the river with 15 vessels. At 22:00, light-draft steamers
Scourge, Spitfire, and Vixen, each towing a schooner, moved up
stream. Bombships Etna, Hecla, and Vesuvius followed closely while
30 surf boats containing 1,500 men brought up the rear. Approaching
the town, the squadron came under hot fire from Fort LaPena. Cmdre.
Perry ordered Commander Franklin Buchanan to disembark the surf
boats and storm the fort. As the landing party swept ashore, the
Mexicans abandoned their position. The other two forts fell in a
like manner, with only light casualties substained by the squadron.
Men from Ohio retrieved the guns of brig Truxtun which had foundered
in a storm near Tuxpan on 16 September 1846. The town was occupied
and all military stores destroyed.
Following Tuxpan, Ohio sailed from Veracruz and arrived in New York
on 9 May. On 26 June, she sailed to bolster the Pacific Squadron,
first carrying the U.S. minister to Brazil and operating off the
east coast of South America until December. In Valparaíso on 21
January 1848, Cmdre. Thomas ap Catesby Jones took her as the
flagship of the Pacific Squadron, intending to blockade the western
Mexico ports. Ohio arrived at Mazatlán on 6 May, shortly after the
Mexican-American War ended. Jones used the fleet to help transport
to Monterey, California, those that had aided the United States in
the war, arriving there on 9 October. Ohio then sailed to Sausalito,
in San Francisco Bay. Ohio spent the next two years in the Pacific
protecting commerce and policing the newly acquired California
Territory during the chaotic early months of the gold rush. Scurvy
struck the crew in the spring of 1849 in San Francisco Bay so Jones
sent Ohio to the Sandwich Islands for fresh food.
In 1850, she returned to Boston where she again went into ordinary.
In 1851, Ohio became a receiving ship and continued this duty until
again placed in ordinary in 1875. Ohio was sold at Boston to J. L.
Snow of Rockland, Maine on 27 September 1883. She was burned in the
following year, in Greenport Harbor, New York; the remains are still
accessible to scuba divers. The wreck is off Fanning Point, in about
20 ft (6.1 m) of water.