Willard Washburn was born around 1844 in Canada, the son of Canadian natives Stephen Washburn (1808-1901) and Mary Ann Grant (1813-1849).
By 1851 Willard was living with William and Priscilla Sexton in Dumfries, Brant County, Ontario, Canada. In 1860 Willard was living with the Sextons in Cascade, Kent County, Michigan. By 1861 Stephen Washburn was living in South Dumfries, Ontario with his second wife Azuba Smith.
Willard was 16 years old and probably living in Cascade, when he enlisted in Company F on March 19, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on April 30.
He was killed in action August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and was presumably among the unknown soldiers whose remains were reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1876 his father applied for a pension (no. 228779), but the certificate was never granted.