The Monohansett was built in New York at the Thomas Collier shipyard in 1862 for the New Bedford, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamboat Company. She was 182 feet long and 28 foot wide with a draft of 9’ 6”. She made her first trip to the Martha’s Vineyard Edgartown wharf on June 1st 1862. Only two month latter she became the USS Monohansett when she was chartered by the Union Government on August 13th 1862.
The Monohansett was used the move military dispatches for the Union fleet operating in the Cape Hatteras, Wilmington, Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River area. She would be used as Union General Ulysses S Grant’s dispatch boat as well as the headquarters at City Point. President Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary used the boat while in the City Point area near the end of the war.
After the war ended the Monohansett returned to her work as a ferry for Martha’s Vineyard. When the then President Grant visited Martha’s Vineyard in 1874 he used the boat again. She was wrecked while going between Boston and Gloucester in a heavy fog in June 1904.