Worden, John Lorimer, 1818-1897

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1818-03-12
Death 1897-10-19
English, French, Russian

Biographical notes:

Commander of the Monitor.

From the description of Letter, [ca. 1847-1897?], to Mr. Allen, Secy. of the Club. (Brown University). WorldCat record id: 122593589

Naval officer.

From the description of Papers, 1862-1899. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155451897

From the description of Papers of John Lorimer Worden, 1861-1898. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78142402

John Lorimer Worden was a naval officer who was born in Westchester County, N.Y. He was appointed midshipman in the U.S. Navy in 1834. During the Civil War he served as the commander of the MONITOR. He was wounded in the Monitor-Merrimack fight and later served in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. He was appointed to the rank of Rear Admiral in 1872. He was superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy from 1869 to 1874. He commanded the European Squadron from 1875-1877.

From the description of Papers, 1835-1891 [microform]. (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 86094018

John Lorimer Worden (12 March 1818 - 19 October 1897) was a U.S. rear admiral who served in the American Civil War. He commanded the Monitor against the Confederate vessel Virginia (originally named Merrimack) in first battle of ironclad ships in 1862.

From the description of Letter, November 9, 1873. (Naval War College). WorldCat record id: 18172187

John Lorimer Worden was a naval officer who was born in Westchester County, N.Y. Prior to taking command of the first ironclad of the Union, the USS "Monitor," Worden was seized and held for several months as the first Union prisoner of war, after his delivery of verbal orders to Fort Pickens at Pensacola Harbor, Florida (telling them not to surrender to the secessionists). He served as commander of the USS Monitor, in the battle between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, until becoming severely wounded in the face during the latter part of the battle. Later, he served in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. He was appointed to the rank of Rear Admiral in 1872. He was superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy from 1869 to 1874. He commanded the European Squadron from 1875 to 1877.

From the description of Papers, 1835-1891, (bulk 1861-1868). (Fisk University). WorldCat record id: 39873130

Admiral, U.S.N.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., to Gordon L. Ford, 1872 Mar. 6. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270584103

John Lorimer Worden was born March 12, 1818 in Westchester County, New York. He was the son of Ananias Worden and Harriet Graham and the great-grandson of Surgeon Andrew Graham, of the Connecticut Committee of Public Safety in the American Revolution. On January 10, 1834, he was appointed midshipman in the United States Navy and spent the next several years at sea and ashore at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. Worden was promoted to Lieutenant in 1846 and served on the store ship Southampton off California during the Mexican War. After the Mexican War, Worden served in the Mediterranean on the USS Cumberland. From 1850 to 1852, he served another tour of the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. On September 16, 1844, John Worden married Olivia Taffey of Quaker Hill, New York. They had four children during their marriage. The family resided in Washington, D.C. where Worden was assigned to the Naval Observatory for three tours of duty over the course of his career. During the remainder of the 1850s and into the early 1860s, Worden served with in the Home Squadron and at the New York Navy Yard.

On the eve of the Civil War, John Worden had been serving in the Navy for 26 years. In April 1861, on orders from the Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, Worden traveled to Pensacola, Florida with a message for Captain Henry Adams. Adams, commanding the United States Squadron, was ordered to reinforce and hold Fort Pickens and not surrender to confederate forces. After delivering the message, en route to Washington, D.C., Worden was arrested by confederate forces in Montgomery, Alabama, and held prisoner of war for seven months. Olivia Worden corresponded with U.S. Navy, Federal, and Confederate government officials in an effort to obtain her husband's release. In October, Flag Officer Lewis M. Goldsborough negotiated a prisoner exchange and Worden was released on November 13, 1861. While recovering from his imprisonment, Worden was selected as commander of the USS Monitor and reported on January 16, 1862. The Monitor, under Worden's command, left New York under tow on March 6, 1862, and arrived off Fortress Monroe on the evening of March 8th. The following morning, the Monitor engaged the CSS Virginia. During the battle, Worden was wounded when a Confederate shell exploded directly outside the pilothouse driving powder fragments into Worden's eyes and face. He was taken to his cabin and placed under the care of the surgeon. While Worden was being attended to, command was taken over by his first officer, Samuel D. Greene. When the Monitor returned after temporary withdrawal, the Merrimac had also withdrawn. Each side had thought themselves victor in the inconclusive battle. In the months following the battle, Worden was lauded as a national hero and received formal Congressional honors. His wounds were serious and recovery took months, though his health was compromised for the remainder of his life. In July 1862, Worden was promoted to the rank of Commander and on February 3, 1863 he was promoted to the rank of Captain. In October 1862, he took command of the monitor USS Montauk, a new and improved single-turreted monitor designed by John Ericsson, and joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. On January 23, 1863, the Montauk engaged in a four-hour bombardment of Fort McAllister, a month later destroyed the confederate cruiser privateer Nashville, and participated in the April 1863 attack on Charleston. Worden left the Montauk in April 1863 and spent the remainder of the Civil War supervising the construction of new ironclads.

Following the Civil War, Worden commanded the USS Pensacola in the Pacific and attained the rank of Commodore on May 26, 1868. From December 1869 to September 1872, Worden served as superintendent at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, followed by a promotion to rear admiral on November 20, 1872. In 1873 he assumed command of the European Squadron whose peacetime mission was to support American diplomatic commercial and military interests abroad. He commanded the European Squadron until 1877, visiting many ports in Europe and was present in the eastern Mediterranean during the Russo-Turkish War. Thereafter, he was a member of the Examining Board and the president of the Retiring Board until his voluntary retirement on December 23, 1886, when Congress awarded him the full sea pay of his grade for life. In his retirement, Worden served as president and governor of the Washington Metropolitan Club. He spent the last nine years of his life living in Washington D.C. and Quaker Hill New York. He died of pneumonia on October 18, 1897. His funeral was held at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C, and he was buried at Pawling, New York.

From the description of John L. Worden papers, 1844-1896 1844-1888. (The Mariners' Museum Library). WorldCat record id: 30352204

John Lorimer Worden (1818-1897), a resident of Westchester County, N.Y., was a U.S. Naval officer who commanded the U.S.S. Monitor during the Civil War. His commanding of the Monitor in its battle against the Confederate States ship Virginia (formerly the C.S.S. Merrimack ) during the Battle of Hampton Roads in 1862 was integral in maintaining the Union Army's blockade of Norfolk Harbor. After the War, Worden continued to serve the Navy and was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral.

Source: Hudson River Valley Institute. "John Lorimer Worden." Accessed April 20, 2011. http://www.hudsonrivervalley.org/library/pdfs/worden.pdf

From the guide to the John Lorimer Worden collection, 1862-1899, (Brooklyn Historical Society)

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Subjects:

  • Prisoners of war
  • Fortification
  • Smithsonian Exchange
  • Turret ships
  • Soldiers
  • Military Bases
  • Hampton Roads, Battle of, Va., 1862
  • Ports of entry
  • Ships

Occupations:

  • Naval officers

Places:

  • Germany (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Confederate States of America (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States |x History |y Civil War, 1861-1865 (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Confederate States of America (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)