G.A.R. Post: John Buford Post #89 Everett, WA
Keel laid: 1817 New York Navy Yard, NY, NY
Commissioned: Inf. Not Avail.
Keel laid: Inf. not avail.
De-Commissioned: February 4,1955
Keel laid: 6/27/61 Philadelphia, PA
De-Commissioned: Inf. not avail
Keel laid: Inf. Not Avail.
Commissioned: Inf. Not Avail.
De-Commissioned: Inf. Not Avail.
U.S.S. OHIO HISTORY:
Launched in 1820 Ohio went into ordinary (mothballs) early on and decayed badly. She was refitted in 1838 and after several years at sea became a receiving (induction center) ship.
To meet the needs of the Mexican War, Ohio was re-commissioned 12/7/46. After the war Ohio joined the Pacific Squadron off South America and coastal waters of California during that state's gold rush.
Ohio was mothballed again in 1850 before once more becoming a receiving ship in 1851. She continued to serve in that capacity until 1875. She was sold on 5/27/83
U.S.S. CONSTELLATION HISTORY:
A sloop of war, the U.S.S. Constellation from 1855 to 1858 performed largely diplomatic duties as part of the US Mediterranean Squadron. She was flagship of the US African Squadron from 1859 to '61, a period during which she disrupted the African slave trade by interdicting three slave ships and releasing the imprisoned slaves. During the Civil War Constellation spent much of her time as a deterrent to Confederate cruisers and commerce raiders in the Mediterranean Sea.The Constellation received her final decommissioning in February, 1955. In August of that year, about two weeks and one hundred years from her first commissioning, she was taken to her permanent berth at Constellation Dock in Baltimore, MD.
U.S.S. TUSCARORA HISTORY:
The first USS Tuscarora was a sloop of war that served in the US Navy during the American Civil War. She was 198' 6" long and armed with 2 eleven inch Dahlgren smoothbore guns, 2 thirty two pound guns, 4 fifty seven cwt thirty two powder guns and l thirty pound parrot rifle. Her assignments during the War included searching for Confederate raiders between 1861 and 1864, participating in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron 1864 to 1865 and serving as part of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in 1865.
U.S.S. INDEPENDENCE HISTORY:
As of this writing there have been six U.S. Navy ships named for the cornerstone of our nation's foundation that many Americans have sacrificed to ensure. It was the second U.S.S. Independence that served during the American Civil War.
All that is known about that vessel is that she was the first ship of the line in the Navy. Launched in 1814 with seventy four guns, she was later refitted as a 54-gun frigate.
SAILOR: (Ohio & Constellation)
Residence: Inf. Not Avail. Age: 21 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 12/1/61 Boston, MA Rank: landsman
Highest Rank: Ordinary Seaman
SAILOR: (Tuscarora & Independence)
Residence: Inf. Not Avail. Age:
Enlisted/Enrolled: 4/4/65 Rank: Ordinary Seaman (est.)
Discharged: 4/3/68 San Francisco, CA
Highest Rank: Able Seaman
Information pertaining to the life of John McCarthy is, at best, sketchy. Available documentation points to his being born in the year 1840 in County Cork, Ireland. Beyond this, nothing is known about his birth family, his infant, childhood, formative or teenaged years. Also not known is when and with whom, if anyone, he travelled to the United States.
The first hard documentation on Mr. McCarthy stems from his 12/14/61 enlistment in the U.S. Navy at Boston, Massachusetts. Military files from the period note him as a 5'5 1/2", laborer with light eyes, complexion and hair. As he entered the navy as a landsman, it appears likely he had no prior seafaring experience.
While in the Navy Mr. McCarthy served on four different vessels, the history of each is presented above. The first two ships, the Ohio and Constellation, he served on during his initial enlistment. The second two he served on when he re-enlisted in April, 1865.
Having been discharged in San Francisco, California in 1868, John apparently opted to remain on the west coast rather than return east. While the census data for San Francisco in 1870 is somewhat circumstantial, the "28 year old" John McCarthy living in that city having been born in Ireland is likely our vet. At that time he was noted as being single and employed as a "drayman" or wagon driver. His place of residence, although not specifically identified was likely a cheap hotel or boarding facility as over 36 other "seamen" were also residing there.
Around 1875/'76 John departed San Francisco for the inland California mountainous county of Placer. Likely he went there to either work in the woods or search for gold. In later years he would report that during this period he left one set of his military discharge papers with a San Francisco agent whom he could not locate when he returned to the Bay area ca. 1878/'79. The other copy he lost "while in the mountains."
John McCarthy's whereabouts and activities during the ensuing decade are not known. However, in December, 1890 a John McCarthy surfaced northward in Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington. Tacoma, then as now, was a port and mill city. Again, while the information is circumstantial this is likely our vet as he was attempted to obtain copies of his lost military records from the U.S. Government. At the time he directed any correspondence for him be sent to one Tom Mattson, Room 8, 1342 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma. Then, as for many years to follow, Tacoma's Pacific Avenue was home to a number of cheap hotels and seedy nightspots catering to military personnel and transient individuals. In an affidavit given during this period two individuals attested to have known John for "four months."
A John McCarthy died 5/1/95 in Everett, Snohomish County, Washington. This city, some fifty or sixty miles north of Tacoma was/is also a port and mill town, so this is likely the same John McCarthy from the U.S. Navy, California and Tacoma. Interestingly, his brief obituary in the Everett Herald newspaper miss-spelled his last name as McCarty.
Details of Mr. McCarthy’s death are not known, but it appears he was likely without family, indigent and had been a member of the U.S. military service during the American Civil War as the local G.A.R. Post paid for his burial in their plot located in Everett's Evergreen Cemetery. Two years later a military headstone noting the John McCarthy buried in Evergreen Cemetery was a U.S. Navy veteran was obtained and installed at the gravesite.
Buried at Evergreen Cemetery
CGM. Edward J. Zielasko
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