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USS Albany (1846)

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Title: USS Albany (1846)  
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Subject: Samuel Livingston Breese, USS Albany, Maritime incidents in 1854, USS Falmouth (1827), William Rogers Taylor
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USS Albany (1846)


USS Albany, the first ship with this name, was laid down at the New York Navy Yard sometime in 1843; launched on 27 June 1846; and commissioned on 6 November 1846, Captain Samuel Livingston Breese in command.

Service history

The sloop of war put to sea on her first cruise on 26 November 1846 and joined the Home Squadron — then engaged in operations against Mexican forces—on 8 January 1847 at Anton Lizardo. Soon thereafter, however, she departed the Mexican coast for an independent cruise to the vicinity of the Azores. Upon her return to the east coast of Mexico early in March Albany guarded the transport anchorage at Isla Verde in preparation for General Winfield Scott's operations against Veracruz. During the 9 March amphibious action, Albany carried and landed the reserve elements under Brigadier General David E. Twiggs. Since the Mexican leaders chose not to oppose the landings, Albany saw no combat. Later, on 22 March, the sloop of war sent one of her shell guns and its support personnel ashore to help in the siege of Veracruz.

Veracruz surrendered formally on 29 March, and Albany then moved to the next objective — Alvarado. The Mexican forces, however, had already abandoned that port; and Lieutenant Charles G. Hunter, commanding Scourge, arrived first and took possession of the town. Albany, therefore, soon headed for another target — Tuxpan. She and the other ships of the squadron arrived at the mouth of the Tuxpan River on the morning of 17 April. Capt. Breese—commanding Albany — then formed his landing party of over 1,500 sailors and marines drawn from all ships in the squadron. They embarked in the barges and the six ships chosen to ascend the river and capture Tuxpan. Albany herself did not participate in the action though her captain and some of her crewmen did. From 18–22 April, the force moved up the river, engaged and captured two artillery batteries, destroyed fortifications and military equipment at Tuxpan, and then retired down the river to rejoin the squadron. When the American warships dispersed to various blockade stations along the eastern coast of Mexico, Albany and Reefer remained off the mouth of the Tuxpan River.

Then, after service on the blockade at various other points, Albany arrived off the mouth of the Tabasco River by 13 June. Once again, her deep draft precluded the ship's actual participation in the ascent of the river. However, as in the Tuxpan operation, members of her crew joined the expedition. The movement upriver began late in the first dog watch on 14 June. In two days, the American force ascended the river, disembarked the landing force, routed the defenders on the approaches to Tabasco, and captured the town. The Americans remained there until 22 July, when yellow fever and ever braver Mexican troops forced the evacuation of the town.

In the meantime, Albany headed home for repairs. She departed the Mexican coast on 11 July and arrived in Hampton Roads, Virginia on 6 August. From there, she soon moved north to Boston where she completed her repairs on 27 September. On 10 October, the sloop of war put to sea to return to the Gulf of Mexico and served along the Mexican coast on blockade duty again until March 1848, when she was detached and sent to Venezuela to protect American citizens there during a highly volatile constitutional crisis in that country. With the Mexican-American War at an end, Albany began cruising the Caribbean-West Indies region. That duty lasted until 12 September 1848, when she returned to Norfolk.

Between 15 November 1848 and the latter part of 1853, the sloop of war made three more extended deployments in the Caribbean-West Indies area as a unit of the Home Squadron. On 12 December 1853, Albany set sail from Boston, Massachusetts, on the final mission of her career. After several months sailing among the islands of the West Indies and along the coast of Central America, she departed Aspinwall, Colombia (now Colón, Panama) on 29 September 1854. She was never heard from again and was listed as lost at sea with all hands.


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