As near as I have been able to determine, Alexander M. DeBree served on at least three ships before the Civil War. The first was the USS Pennsylvania, then the USS Preble and the USS Cyane.
The USS Pennsylvania was ordered in 1816 to combat English ships-of-the-line. It was built at Philadelphia Navy Yard and laid down in 1821 but not launched until 1837 and commissioned later that year. It was one of the ships burned at Norfolk when the Navy Yard fell to Confederates 20 April 1861.
It was 3,105 tons, 210 feet long with a 56.9 foot beam. Crewed by 1,100 officers and men, it mounted sixteen 8-inch shell guns and 104 32-pdrs..
It went to Norfolk in 1838 and its crew was transferred to the USS Columbia. It then remained in ordinary until 1842 when it became Norfolk's receiving ship which station it remained until it was burned to prevent capture.