William Nicholas Worthington was born in Washington DC on July 16, 1841 the son of William M. Worthington, Esquire and Alice Brown. They lived in a palatial mansion called Halcyon House (see photo below).
In 1861 William was enrolled at the University of Virginia when the Civil War broke out. Pledging his allegiance to the Confederacy, he first enlisted as a Private in Charlottesville assigned to The Southern Guard, Capt. Hutter’s Company-Infantry. He was then assigned to the 4th Virginia Infantry out of Richmond where he was an Aide de Camp to Joseph Anderson. William didn't stay enlisted for long due to his family connections. William was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in Richmond, Virginia on June 13, 1862 as an Aide de Camp to General Beverly Robertson. William was promoted to Captain on February 18, 1863. Later in the war he served as an Aide de Camp to General Crutchfield. William was at both the Battle of Brandy Station and The Battle at Saylor's Creek. The war was a family affair with his half brother William H. Haxall, II serving in the 1st Virginia and his step cousin Philip Haxall serving as an Aide de Camp like William. His family was dealt a blow at the end of the war when hi step-father lost the Haxall Mill when Richmond was burned in April 1865.
Following the war, William moved to New York City where he was a private banker working on Wall Street. He died while visiting Toledo, Ohio at age 29 on June 30, 1871. His obituary appeared in newspapers in Toledo, New York City and Richmond and read as follows,
"In calling to mind the depth of this young gentleman, those who knew will dwell with peculiar satisfaction on the amiable traits of his character and courteous suavity of his manners. Possession much that too often leads to vanity and self-conceit, his modesty and gentleness were always more prominent than either. Destined to fill an early grave; the calm consciousness of it neither awed nor terrified him. He met his fate with fortitude of a Christian exulting in the hope of a brighter hereafter."
His burial in Hollywood Cemetery was due to the influence of his step-father William Henry Haxall. In 1847 "...Haxall and Joshua Fry, inspired by a recent visit to Mount Auburn cemetery near Boston, decided to open a similar cemetery on the outskirts of Richmond. Together with 40 prominent Richmond subscribers, they started a company that would later be known as the Hollywood Cemetery Company. Notable architect John Notman of Philadelphia was enlisted to design the cemetery. He suggested the name “Hollywood” due to the large amount of holly trees that dotted its hills." (from http://www.hollywoodcemetery.org/about/our-history)
It is obvious that William Nicholas Worthington was loved by his family. His mother, Alice and step-father William Henry Haxall are buried right next to him in Presidents Circle. The final piece of the puzzle is not yet found. I would very much like to find a photo of William Nicholas Worthington. Somewhere out there I know in my heart there in a likeness of him. If you have any information that could lead to this please leave a comment below!