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Reefer

 

A seaman who regulates the effective area of a ship's sail by rolling or folding her canvas rigging.

 

(Schooner: tonnage 76; length 59; beam 19; draft 6; complement 40; armament 1 18-pounder or 1 32-pounder)

 

Reefer was a pilot schooner purchased by the Navy at New York City on 25 May 1846 from Brown and Bell for service as a dispatch boat in Commodore David Conner's Home Squadron during the Mexican War; and commissioned on 19 June 1846, Lt. Isaac Sterrett in command.

 

The schooner reached Vera Cruz on 10 July 1846 and soon began blockade duty south of that port. Early in August, she participated in an expedition against Alvarado, a river port some 30 miles from Vera Cruz which sheltered a number of Mexican gunboats. However, the strong current prevented the American vessels from effecting the planned landing. Another attempt was made against Alvarado on 15 October but was again abortive. In this second attack upon the Mexican port a shell hit Reefer near her rudder head but did not damage her seriously.

 

On the 16th, Reefer got underway with a task force commanded by Commodore Matthew C. Perry, but the next day she was separated from her consorts in a severe storm and missed participating in the expedition up the Tabasco River.

 

The occupation of Tampico came in mid-November for the schooner which became station ship at that port. In March 1847, she was part of the force which captured Vera Cruz.

 

After the fall of that important port, the American squadron occupied other Mexican ports along the gulf coast.

 

Alvarado and Tuxpan fell in April, and in June Fontera [sic; Frontera] and Tabasco came into American hands ending the fighting on the Mexican east coast. Thereafter, Reefer and her sister ships settled down to blockade duty and maintained water lines of supply and communication for the Army.

 

After the war ended, Reefer was sold at New York in 1848.



23 September 2005