USS Concord (1828) A Virtual Cemetery created by: Rubbings
Description: USS Concord was a wooden-hulled, three-masted Sloop-of-war of the United States Navy and was launched on 24 September 1828 from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. She was the first US Navy vessel to bear the name 'Concord' and was so named after the town of Concord for its role at the beginning of the American Revolution. When empty, the vessel displaced a total of 700 tons. The Concord had a complement of 190 officers and seamen with an armament of 20 guns and saw service protecting American merchant ships and other interests in several places around the world. The ship and her crew, who also functioned as Marines, fought in the Seminole Wars in Florida. Concord ran aground while on a patrolling mission along the African coast. Despite determined efforts from the crew, with three losing their lives in the process, the Concord was unable to be refloated.CharacteristicsAs a sloop of war Concord was a three masted ship with a displacement of 700 tons and was a smaller vessel compared to frigates and ships of the line, which generally displaced upwards of 1500 and 2200 tons respectively. The sloop type provoked dissatisfaction, due to the navy board's insistence that they be made to carry 24 guns, despite their dimensions making them better suited to carrying 20 guns. They were criticized for being slow, due in part to their full after body and often being overloaded, a practice typical of vessels in a navy during peace time. Concord as designed was 127 feet long, but had a draft of 16 feet, resulting in an increase in displacement without an increase in length. HistoryMatthew C. Perry, first commander of the USS ConcordThe Concord was commissioned on 7 May 1830 with a crew of 190 men and placed under the command of Commodore Matthew C. Perry [Notes 1] and saw service as part of the US squadron in the Mediterranean Sea from 22 April 1830 to 10 December 1832. Under Perry's command the Concord was used to transport the US envoy John Randolph of Roanoke, Virgina to the Imperial Russian court at St. Petersburg in 1832.  [Notes 2] The ship's naval surgeon was William Turk of Whitehall, New York who kept a log book detailing names of officers, crew illness and the various treatments administered, weather conditions, and accounts of local events at various ports along their journey. In 1835 the Concord was ordered to the western Florida coast at the beginning of the Second Seminole War to survey the rivers, inlets, and bars along that stretch of the Florida seaboard. Because of the extreme shortage of trained soldiers in the territory a Commander Dallas agreed to provide crewmen from the Concord to assist in the fighting against the Seminole Indians. Some 60 men from the Concord's crew under the command of Lieutenant Thomas J. Leib were sent North from Tampa to the newly completed Fort Foster at the Hillsborough River Bridge to relieve the troops of the garrison there so they could search the surrounding swamps for the Seminoles who had been harassing the fort and other locations in the area. The crewmen served there for three months, and then returned to the Concord where they set sail west to the Mexican coast to protect American shipping interests there.   The Concord also saw service in the West Indies from 1836 to 1837 and again in 1838, and at the Brazil station in 1842 protecting American commerce in the South Atlantic, and finally in the waters between Madagascar and Mozambique in 1842, protecting a fleet of American whaling ships. In late 1838 the Concord again returned to the waters off the western Florida coast to prevent agents working for the Spanish and British from smuggling gun powder, shot and other supplies to the hostile Seminoles. On 2 October 1842, while under the command of Commander Boerum, the Concord ran aground on a sandbar at the mouth of the Ligonha River in Mozambique. Three crew members died during unsuccessful attempts to re-float the ship. Among them was her captain, when they were swept away by strong currents while they were trying to make their way to shore crossing the sandbar. Boerum was replaced by Lieutenant J. M. Gardner, who decided that the situation was hopeless, and consequently the Concord was abandoned by the remainder of her crew. Gardener then chartered the Portuguese brig Union to take the crew of the Concord to Rio de Janeiro. Among the officers who also served aboard the ship was Midshipman John Rodgers, son of the famous Commodore John Rodgers who served in the War of 1812.