For years, I have been attempting to solve the mystery of the centenarian. My grandfather, John Emory Worden, always claimed that a great grandfather of his was a centenarian, and that the family was from Wilkes-Barre. I quickly identified who the centenarian was (John Worden 1741-1842), but was unable to make the connection between my last known confirmed generation (John Worden the civil war soldier) and this man. [Read more here]


Descended from ‘John The Centenarian’

Postcard shows John Henry Worden,

son of PVT John Worden.


State of New York, County of Orange:

In the matter of the application for restoration to the pension roll, of John Worden, late private, company 'I', 19th Regiment, New York State Militia Infantry, War of the Rebellion, Cert no.866,260.

On this 25th day of July, A.D. one thousand nine hundred and six, personally appeared before me a Notary Public, in and for the aforesaid Country, duly authorized to administer oaths. John Worden, aged 60 years, a resident of Oakland Valley, in the County of Sullivan, and state of New York, whose post office address is Port Jervis in the County of Orange, and state of New York, well known to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who being duly sworn declares in relation to the aforesaid case as follows: Referring to my application for restoration to the pension roll, I wish to state that all service rendered by me, in either the Army, or Navy of the United States, is as follows: I enlisted, first at Newburgh, Orange County, New York, for three months, and was mustered into Company 'G' of the 19th regiment of New York State Militia Infantry, for three months at Newburgh, date of enlistment about May, 1862. I served about four months, when I was mustered out at Newburgh and received an honorable discharge from such "three months” served, so called, in the late war of rebellion.

On or about (as near as I can recall it) October, 1862, I reenlisted in the service of the United States, at Milton, Ulster County, New York, for "three years, or during the war" -the war of the rebellion- as a Private in company 'L', 2nd Reg't U.S. Cavalry, or to be exact, I enlisted as aforesaid in the Volunteer Service. But was not, as I recalled, mustered into such service, but sent, with others, in a batch, to New York City for subsequent enrollment in the Regular Service, under an order issued by Secretary Stanton, recruiting the Regular Army, from enlisted volunteers. But not exceeding ten to a company. Under this order, I reenlisted and was formally transferred from the Volunteer, to the Regular Army, as a Private, as above stated, in the 2nd U.S. Cav'y for three years, the time already served under the enlistment in the 156th New York Vols, to be credited on the time in the regular service. I served continuously in the organization last mentioned in the regular army until on or about April 5th 1865, when I left without leave. No disability occurred during first service.

I make no claim on account of disability on that service nor do I make any claim on account of disability incurred during my second service, as above. I went first to Carlisle, PA, where I was drilled for some time. From Carlisle, was sent with others, to Baltimore, Md. We received our horses there and then went direct to Washington. From Washington, we joined the Army of the Potomac, before Fredericksburg (Fredericksburg I / Marye's Heights, Virginia, December 11-15, 1862). The companies that I went with, there joined the 2nd regiment of the U.S. Cav'y - every company, as I believed, being there present with the regiment.

I was with the regiment, until I was detached with General Patrick, Provost Marshal of the Army of the Potomac. I, with others. I was orderly. I continued on this service till the Chanscellorsville battle (Chancellorsville, Virginia, April 30-May 6, 1863), with Hooker & Lee. There, I was assigned back to the company, and remained with the company till the Gettysburg battle (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1-3, 1863).  Then, sent on special duty with condemned horses to Washington, and then sent to Camp Stoneman for further orders.

There, in the fall, joined the regiment, at Camp Stoneman.

Then was detached to Point Lookout, Md, (where David Milton Tannehill was imprisoned until his death in March of 1864) on special duty with others, -50 of us, sent there, - to guard a rebel prison, Point Lookout, Md, -the lower point, between the Chesapeake and Potomac, and there in the fall of 1864. I was sent to Norfolk, VA, and from there to Carlisle, to be sent I suppose, to wherever the regiment was. I think it was pretty well towards the Spring of 1865 -might have been in January or February, when I arrived at Carlisle, for I left there April 5th 1865. Wasn't there two months, I am pretty sure. Was there, simply, to await further orders. I came straight to Middletown, Orange County, New York.  I must have had from April to September the following fall to finish out my three years enlistment.

I staid [sic] home till the fall of '66, -24th December '66 - when I enlisted for the general Mounted service, but was sent into Company C, 15th Reg't Regular infantry for three years and found it at Fort Morgan, Mobile Bay, and was sent to Mobile City, Ala.,  I served up to June 21st about) '67, when I was discharged from hospital, for disability.

That's the last out of the United States service. They discharged me for heart trouble. I was discharged out of hospital, at Mobile, Ala., on account of Surgeon's Certificate of Disability.  I sent this discharge, together with my first discharge, and a statement of my entire service, as herein detailed, to George E Lemon, of Washington D.C.  He never returned the discharge for disability. He was my attorney in prosecuting a claim for pension, under the old, law based on heart disease, contracted during my last service in the regular army. He claimed pension for me, first, under the old law, and then, under the new, as he wrote me, and eventually, I was granted a pension of $8 per month, under the act of June 27th, 1890. Lemon being the recognized attorney of record, in that claim. The old law claim was left unadjudicated, finally. At all events, I have never been further advised, with reverence to it by the Pension Office or by the said George E. Lemon, who is now deceased.


descriptive lists of all of my enlistments. They sent me every one of them, and the last one specified that I was discharged from the hospital per heart disease. I alleged that, of course, as a ground for pension. I was medically examined, first, by the Board of Examining Surgeons, at Middletown, N.Y., and, thereafter, at Port Jervis, N.Y., by Dr. Suartevant (sp?), in pension claim. I am very seriously troubled with my heart. I came home, openly, to Middletown from my second service. I did not hide from anyone. No one came after me. I continued to draw my pension of $8 per month, under the "New Law," until I was notified that my name had been dropped from the pension roll, because I had not received an honorable discharge from the 2nd United States Cavalry. I did not draw pension after Aug 4th 1896. I have made no effort to be restored until now, though I have always felt that I was wrongfully dropped from the pension roll. I have always felt that the language of the Act of June 27th 1890, clearly entitled me to a pension. I had served more than ninety days during the late war of the rebellion and had been honorably discharged therefrom. This, it seemed to me, gave me a pensionable status under that act. It is true I subsequently enlisted during said war, and I served faithfully under my second enlistment, until April 5th 1865, when the war was practically over. It has been officially declared over, May 1st 1865.

I was, therefore, but a few short days in default. I have always felt that each enlistment for said war, being a separate and distinct contract, stood apart, and by itself, and either gave, or failed to give, pensionable status under the provisions of the act in question, according as the period of service required by the Act to be shown, and the nature of that service, honorable, _______, apeared of _____, in the _____ case. <snip>

Affidavits and Depositions in the matter of John Worden


Case of John Worden ____, No. 866260

On this 4th day of Nov, 1895, at Port Jervis, County of Orange, State of New York, before me, ___ Hoover, a Special Examiner of the Pension Office, personally appeared John Worden, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to him during this Special Examination of aforesaid pension claim, deposes and says:

my age is 49 year last residence & P. O. address Mongaup, Sullivan Co., N.Y. occupation stone cutter. I was first a pvt in Co I 19 NY_. ___ having enlisted in May 1862 and been discharged after three months service in Sept 1862. I was home twelve days and re-enlisted with the 156 N.Y. __ Inf in New York and was transferred to the 2nd U.S. Cav and assigned to Co. L. I served three years from the date I was mustered into the 156 N.Y. Inf. I was not assigned to any company in the 156th NY Inf. On the 24th day of Dec, 1866, I re-enlisted in Co I 15 Regt U.S. Inf and was discharged on June 17, 1867 at Mobile, Ala.. __ a surgeon ____ disability. I never served in the military as ____ service ____ ____ otherwise than as stated above.

I was first taken with heart trouble at Mobile Ala in the spring of 1867. I had catarrh a trouble with my head for years before - a buzzing noise. I first felt it in Belle Plain in the Potomac when I was in the 2nd U.S. Cav in the winter of 1862 & 3. 

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and I have had it ever since. This is when I contracted rheumatism also. Dr. Van Ellen ___ told me the heart disease resulted from the rheumatism. I had the rheumatism in my back and right hip and in my harms & shoulders while we were at Fredericksburg, VA, but I did not feel the fainting spells from heart trouble until I was at Mobile Ala in 1867. That is what I claim pension for. I was a boy sixteen years old when I entered the 19th Inf in 1862. I was examined by a doctor and accepted. I was all right so far as I can remember while in that regiment. I had no sickness before I enlisted. I was a cooper. My brother, Wm L Worden of Oakland, Sullivan Co, N.Y., is the only one I can offer __ to share that I was a sound young man when I went into I 19 NY. I worked with him in the cooper shop up until I enlisted.

When I enlisted with 156 I was stripped and examined at Kingston N.Y. I do not know who he was. I asked him if there was anything wrong and he said nothing only that I was too young - that I would not stand it. I was not examined in New York when I was transferred to the 2nd U.S. Cav, but I was at Carlisle Pa merely by answering questions. The old doctor asked me if I had been in the service and I said yes in the three months service and he said transfer along.

I certainly contracted catarrh and then

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malaria (crossed out: while lying on __) in front of Fredericksburg VA in the winter of 1862 and 3. We had rough weather and we were on picket near the Rappahanock. I was treated by the doctor but I do not know who he was. He said he thought it was malaria. He gave me quinine and rum. The put me off duty at different times. I felt pain in my bones and head and I have felt the same kind ever since. Co L 2nd U.S. Cav was made up of men from all parts of the globe and I have not heard from one man since except through letters showing many were dead. The company officers are dead. I lost my discharge from the 2nd U.S. Cav.

(Mrs. Henry Smith in Poughkeepsie is my sister). I slept with a man named ___ Lenahan and Jones, but I cannot give the Christian names of either one. I do not believe any man in the company will know that I had catarrh & rheumatism in that service.

After I came home from this service I lived with John Halsey of Westtown N.Y. I worked for Wm Sayer died I worked for Halsey and I do not believe he would know anything about me as I did all the work I could.

John Worden (sworn and subscribed 4 Nov 1895)


Case of John Worden ___, No. 866260

[claimant deposition continued]

I cannot refer anyone. I did not tell Halsey I had heart trouble.

I was not examined at Governor Island N.Y. when I joined Co I 15 NY Inf. The doctor asked me if I had been in the and I said yes. I had served in the 2nd U.S. Cav. They said that will do. We went to Savannah Ga and then to Mobile Ala. by rail and then I was assigned to Co I which was then stationed at Ft Morgan. There is where I felt heart trouble as fainting spells first. I was in the hospital . I was not out of the hospital for duty from the time I went into it until  I was discharged and I do not care what the record is. __ I did any duty such as carrying up rations for men sicker than I was, that is all I did but was not back with the company. I came home to Halsey’s again and worked for him a few days and then went to Wickham Tuttle ____. I lived in the house with them. His wife, Mary Tuttle, of this place knew me then but I do not know whether she can say anything about my condition. I was there about

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eight months and then I came to Cuddebackville where I married my wife in July 1869. Since then I  have been working at stone cutting. I do not know anyone who can tell anything about my condition since except Mr. Stickle, Cuddebackville, my wife, Calvin Knight and Robert.

There is no doctor living who treated me or rather examined me except H. B. Swartout. He only examined me once. He never tested me. I have contracted no other disabilities since I came home. I have been troubled with catarrh, droppings in my throat so that I cannot lie on my back. I believe I got it at Fredericksburg, from the glandered? horses. Big dry matter?? -cales? came out of my nose. I have always been troubled with rheumatism and heart trouble since I came home. At different times in each year, I have been laid up three and four weeks at a time so that I could not turn over without help.

[Next sentence hard to read - D lauman Heart both died treated me?] I have area/urea? pills I of patent medicines - I got it from Wm Z Knight of Mongaup and others wherever I could get it cheapest.

I can name one other witness except those already named. I do not care to be present at the examination as he represented by attorney. I have understood the questions and my answers are ____ written. I cannot write.

John Worden

Page 14 is ‘sworn by’ data

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In addition to my former statement I have to say that I did nave a bad feeling about my heart when i was a member of Co L 2nd U.S. Cav and especially at Norfolk, VA in the fall part of of 1864 when I was also at Point Lookout MD. I was off duty there and treated by a doctor but I do not know his name. That is the first time I can recall that I felt any pain about my heart. But afterwards at Mobile in the spring of 1867 the attacks were more severe and I had fainting spells to which I have been subject ever since. It was about the time Lincoln was shot that I left the 2nd U.S. Cav and for that service I never got a discharge.

If John Halsey cannot prove my condition after I came home the last time “Coe” Decker of Matamona/Mattewan? ___ C ___ can. He’s the only one I can think of. He can testify as to my condition in the fall of 1868 I never worked for Abner P. Downer but lived in the same place with him in 1876. After I came home in June 1867 I worked a few months for John Halsey. That winter I went to work for Wickham Tuttle.

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dead. I was with him that winter until the spring of 1868 when I went to live with my brother, William. I helped him that summer and in July 1869 I was married. We then was with my father-in-law and worked for him at different times four or five years and then we went to New York in the fall of 1875 and then lived near Oakland two and a half years. Then went to _____(Stickles or Gilmans?) for about a year and then to ____(hart????) and then we came here in 1881.

My brother can prove my condition before I enlisted and after I came home the last time. Coe Decker can prove it since the fall of 1868. I cannot remember that I complained to anyone else. I have always followed guessying??? and I cannot place any better ___ man or neighbor who would know my condition. I did not make a ____ of complaining to everyone. All the physicians who treated me after discharge are dead. I cannot furnish any more data in the ___.

I have understood the questions and my answers are exactly written..

John Worden

Witnesses: Mrs. Jane Worden, ____ Worden