Powhatan B. Cabell was the son of Major General Benjamin William Sheridan Cabell (1793-1862), a hero of the War of 1812, and his wife, Sarah “Sallie” Epes Doswell (1802-1874). He was born in Danville, Virginia. Powhatan B. Cabell was a descendant of Chief Powhatan through his paternal grandmother, Pocahontas Rebecca Bolling (1754-1803) who married Joseph Cabell (1762-1831). She was the daughter of Robert Bolling (1738-1775), and the sister of the original Powhatan Bolling (1767-1803).
He attended the University of Virginia in sessions 25-26 (1848-1850), then attended medical lectures in Philadelphia, London, and Paris. He was a medical doctor by profession. Between 1855 and 1856, Dr. Cabell visited Cuba and Mexico; it was in Mexico that his party was attacked by Comanche Indians, and he was wounded, though not fatally. (Brown) On 3 Sep. 1857, Dr. Cabell married Jane Bretney Lanier (1842-1901). There were no children from this marriage, although Jane remarried later and had four children with her second husband.
Dr. Cabell served as a doctor in the U.S. Army in Fort Lauderdale County, Florida during the Seminole Indian War, and died of disease at the home of James Jackson in Florence, Alabama. He is buried in the Grove Street Cemetery, in Danville, VA, where his parents and several of his siblings are also buried.
[Note: Powhatan B. Cabell’s birth date is from the UVA Matriculation Records; his tombstone gives his birth year as 1828. A death announcement in the Southern Advocate gives the day of his death as 15 Dec. 1859, whereas his tombstone says 14 Dec. 1859. — JLC]
- Brown, Alexander. Cabells and their kin. Boston, 1895, p. 475.
- Buckmaster, Laura. Buckmaster, Holmes, Lanier, and Thurber Family Tree. [database online] c2012. < http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=AHN&db=laura47&id=I69554 > (accessed 11/6/2012).
- “Died.” Southern Advocate (Huntsville, AL), 28 Dec. 1859, p.3.
- Tombstone of Dr. Powhatan B. Cabell, Grove Street Cemetery, Danville, VA. Findagrave.com. (accessed 10/31/2012).
- University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.