Selim E. Woodworth was born in 1824 in New York and was appointed midshipman on 16 June 1838. He served in several ships, commanding Anita before resigning his commission in 1850.

He re-entered the Navy as acting lieutenant when the Civil War broke out. Placed in command of John P. Jackson, he assisted in the capture of Forts Jackson and St. Philip. Following operations at Vicksburg, he was commended by Adm. Porter while President Lincoln recommended him to congress for special thanks.

Commissioned commander in April 1862, he commanded Glide, General Price, Narragansett and Monocacy before resigning finally in 1866.

He died in 1873.