I was born on November 15, 1844, at my father's place, Mount Ephraim, in the lower end of Fauquier County, Virginia. Our home was, in summer, the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It was a large brick house situated upon a commanding bluff directly on the Rappahannock River, with broad low grounds directly in front and high bluffs heavily timbered upon the Culpeper side of the river, with the Blue Ridge Mountains looming up some forty miles away. We were comfortably well off, owning some fifteen slaves, a farm of one thousand acres, with enough money at interest to supply us with what the farm did not furnish. It was an ideal home and a happy one.