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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Portsmouth

 

A city and shipbuilding center in New Hampshire

 

II

 

(Slp: t. 1,022; l. 153’; b. 38’1”; dph. 16’9”; dr. 16’6”; cpl. 200)

 

The second Portsmouth, a wooden sloop-of-war, was launched at the Portsmouth, N.H., Navy Yard 23 October 1843 and commissioned 10 November 1844, Comdr. John B. Montgomery in command.

 

Portsmouth sailed 25 January 1845 for the Mexican coast where she was engaged in watching the movements of British vessels. After the declaration of war with Mexico, 26 April 1846, she shifted to the Pacific and into 1848 cruised off California and Mexico. Returning to Boston in May 1848 she departed again 29 August and sailed east to the African coast. There until 1 February 1849 she patrolled with Royal Navy ships to suppress the slave trade. Between September 1849 and May 1851 she again cruised off the West African coast, returning to Boston 26 June.

 

Six months later Portsmouth left Boston for duty in the Pacific. On 5 April 1855 she returned to the east coast for overhaul at Norfolk and on 3 May 1856 got underway for the Pacific again. She reached Batavia 94 days later, whence she sailed to China. There in November she participated in the engagement with the Barrier Forts. Ordered home in January 1858, she remained at Portsmouth, N.H., until sailing for Africa again for a three year tour, 1859–61.

 

Portsmouth refitted at Portsmouth between September and December 1861, then sailed for the Gulf of Mexico and duty with the Gulf Blockading Squadron. By the end of February 1862 she had captured two blockade runners off Texas. In April she participated in operations against Forts Jackson and St. Philip, then from May 1862 to August 1865 operated as station ship at New Orleans.

 

Continuing her varied career after the Civil War Portsmouth served as quarantine vessel at New York, 1866–67; cruised off Brazil and Africa, 1869–71; carried relief personnel to Brazil in early 1872; and participated in survey assignments in the eastern Pacific, 1873–74. In 1875 she conducted a cruise off the west coast of Latin America and on 14 July 1878 was decommissioned as a cruiser and assigned as a training ship for boys.

 

In 1878 Portsmouth returned to the east coast, arriving at Washington, D.C., 16 February. In March she sailed to France, returning in December to resume training ship duties which she continued until 1911, first with naval apprentices, then with the New Jersey Naval Militia (17 January 1895–March 1911). Portsmouth was then loaned to the Maine Hospital Service, Hampton Roads. She was struck from the Navy List 17 April 1915 and subsequently sold.