The vessel was immediately assigned to the Asiatic Squadron, where she was destined to serve out her entire, long career. Soon after her arrival, she had to pass through a strong hurricane in which she lost many of her sails and even her funnel was sent overboard by the wind and sea. Though damaged, she survived. She was present at the opening of the Japanese ports of Osaka and Hiogo on January 1, 1868. Later that same year she surveyed the Inland sea and helped to choose site for lighthouses, increasing the safety of commerce with Japan.
In 1871, as the United States Navy began to enter its lowest ebb, the MONOCACY underwent repairs at Shanghai, and then began charting the Yangtze River, a river she would come to know well. Later, while she was involved in a survey expedition to the Salee River in isolationist Korea, the expedition was attacked by tbe Koreans. The expeditionary forces, including MONOCACY, retaliated. In the ensuing action, three of her crew were killed and ten more wounded.
The remainder of her career was spent traveling to the various ports of the Far East. Charles Clark, who would later command the Battleship OREGON in the Spanish American War, served aboard the vessel in the mid-1870's and found duty aboard herto be an enjoyable duty.
As war clouds began to form between the United States and Spain, Commodore Dewey, who had arrived in the Far East to command the Asiatic Squadron, was ordered to prepare for action. By this time, the ship was "only fit for a museum shelf." The old and slow MONOCACY was to be left to fend for herself, with all crewmen who could be spared, consisting of about fifty men, being transferred to the over vessels in the squadron. Her commanding officer, Commander O.W. Farenholt, was given the task of obtaining a source for coal and supplies for the Asiatic Squadron through a Chinese intermediary. The efforts were kept secret, because this was against the neutrality laws. During the war, she was left to take care of herself in case of Spanish attack, however, the Navy Department ordered her to be kept in the Yangtze River, where she was fairly safe from Spanish incursions.
In late 1899, MONOCACY carried the U.S. minister to China to ports along the Yangtze River. The following year the Boxer Rebellion occurred. Though present, MONOCACY would not take part in the naval action against the forts at Taku because of orders from rear Admiral Kempff not to begin a fight with the Chinese. She was however, hit in the battle when a Chinese shell damaged one of her cutters. As war had broken out, Kempff's orders no longer applied and MONOCACY was able to act in concert with the other allied vessels. She remained at Taku until Boxer Rebellion had been concluded in September, 1901.
On June 22, 1903, MONOCACY was struck from the U.S. Navy rolls. She had served for an incredible thirty-seven years in the Far East. Her long career in Far Eastern waters had earned her the nickname of "jinricksha of the Navy."
The vessel was sold to Hashimoto and Son, of Nagasaki, Japan.
|Launched:||December 14, 1864|
|Rig:||Two masted schooner|
|Armament:||Four 8 inch smoothbore (Dahlgren) guns|
|Two 60 pounder breechloading rifles|
|One 3 inch breechloading gun|
Two 47 mm. Hotchkiss revolving cannons
|Four 37mm Hotchkiss revolving cannons|
Two Gatling Guns
|One 12 pounder howitzer (for landing parties).|
|Contractor:||A, & W. Denmead & Son, Baltimore, MD.|
|Compliment:||12 Officers and 146 Enlisted Men under|
|the command of Commander O.W. Farenholt.|
|Engine Type:||Single inclined direct acting engine, 850 hp.|
|Coal bunker capacity:||1224 tons|
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