Westel Willoughby was a lawyer, a Union officer in a New York regiment during the(1861–1865), and judge of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals from 1869 until a new constitution was adopted in 1870. Born and educated in New York, Willoughby helped raise the 137th New York Volunteer Regiment and was severely wounded at the (1863). He resigned his commission a few months later but stayed in Virginia, serving as the commonwealth’s attorney of Alexandria County (later Arlington County) from 1864 to 1869, when he was appointed first as a judge of the Ninth Circuit and then of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. He cast the deciding vote in a case that allowed an Alexandria railroad that had sided with the Confederacy to contest a sale of the line’s assets during the Civil War. In private practice he defended the federal government’s efforts to resist compensating the Lee family for the seizure of their . Willoughby made several unsuccessful runs for office as a . He died in Washington, D.C., in 1897.