USS Nantucket, a 1335-ton Passaic class monitor, was built at Boston, Massachusetts. Commissioned in February 1863, she was soon sent to join the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in the waters off Georgia and South Carolina. On 7 April 1863, Nantucket took part in a major naval attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina. She was hit 51 times by Confederate gunfire in this effort, which both failed to silence the fort and demonstrated the limitations of monitor-type ironclads.
Soon repaired, Nantucket returned to duty off Charleston, where she participated in bombardments of the defending forts during July, August and September 1863. Her gunfire, and that of the other Federal ironclads, were important elements in forcing the evacuation of Battery Wagner on 7 September. For the rest of the Civil War, Nantucket remained in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, helping to deter action by Confederate ironclads and assisting in the enforcement of the blockade. She was placed out of commission at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in July 1865.
After ten years "in ordinary" at Philadelphia, during which time she was briefly renamed Medusa, Nantucket was transferred to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She was recommissioned for brief periods in 1882 and 1884, then went back into reserve at New York. The old monitor served with the North Carolina Naval Militia after 1895 and provided coast defense services at Port Royal, South Carolina, during the 1898 Spanish-American War. USS Nantucket was sold for scrapping in November 1900.
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