Nicholas D. Richardson (“Nick”) was the son of William Richardson (1797-1866), a prominent lawyer and, at one point, attorney general of Alabama. His mother was Richardson’s wife, Ann Davis (1810-1861), from Hanover County, Virginia. He was born in Athens, Alabama, where he lived and studied until he was sixteen. (Findagrave.com; Speer)
Nick attended the University of Virginia in session 28 (1851-1852), where he studied chemistry, medicine, anatomy and physiology, and surgery. (UVA Matriculation Books) Speer The next year he studied at Jefferson Medical Collection in Philadelphia, and graduated with his M.D. in 1853. (Gayley) In 1854, Dr. Richardson returned to Athens and joined the practice of Dr. T. S. Malone, where he practiced until the Civil War began in 1861.
In 1861, he enlisted in Company F of the 26th Alabama Regiment, as a lieutenant. Soon he was commissioned as a surgeon in the Confederate army and served with various Alabama units until the surrender in 1865. (McClellan, p. 336) He served primarily in the field.
Returning to practice after the war, he remained in Athens until 1881, when he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and continued practicing medicine. Richardson married Sarah Elizabeth (“Bettie”) Hine (1839-1874) on Oct. 27, 1858. They had six children, Roswell H., Ann Davis, Charles B., William E., Mary P., and Nick D. Richardson, Jr. On May 1, 1875, Richardson married Eliza Anna (Echols) Sledge (1840-1915), a widow, as his second wife. This couple had no children. (Davis)
As late as 1888, a biographer described Richardson as “a most attractive and companionable gentleman. He is six feet high; weighs one hundred and eighty pounds; has the face and manners of the typical, warm-hearted, impulsive southern planter, and looks fearless, unsuspecting, independent, and very self-conscious.” (Speer, p. 319) Nick Richardson was buried in Athens (AL) City Cemetery, in the family plot. (Findagrave.com)
- Davis, Kathie, “Limestone County AL Archives Cemeteries.” [website] Athens City Cemetery – Partial Survey More to Come. (2007) http://files.usgwarchives.net/al/limestone/cemeteries/athensci381gcm.txt
- Gayley, James F. A history of the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. Philadelphia, Joseph M. Wilson, 1858, p.56.
- McClellan, William Cowan. Welcome the hour of conflict: William Cowan McClellan and the 9th Alabama. Tuscaloosa, AL, University of Alabama Press, 2007, p. 336.
- Richardson tombstones, Athens City Cemetery, Alabama. Findagrave.com
- Speer, William S., comp. Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans: Containing Biographies and Records of many of the families who have attained prominence in Tennessee. Originally published Nashville, 1888. Baltimore, MD, Genealogical Publishing, p. 318-319.
- University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.