Commander John Worden would expand his leadership skills during the early days of his command of the Passaic-class ironclad USS Montauk. Shortly after the Montauk arrived in Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, Rear Admiral Samuel Francis du Pont sent Worden and his ironclad to bombard Fort McAllister on the Ogeechee River near Savannah, Georgia. Du Pont planned to test the destructive and resistance capabilities of Passaic–class ironclads in preparation for an ironclad attack on Charleston, South Carolina.
During the February 28, 1863 attack, Montauk’s XV- and XI-inch Dahlgrens were able to destroy the former commerce raider CSS Nashville. Worden was pleased with his destruction of “this troublesome pest”; however, Montauk suffered a massive jolt when it struck a Confederate torpedo en route down the Ogeechee River. Worden’s quick thinking saved his ironclad, and he, the hero of USS Monitor, received even greater laurels for his newest decisive actions.