Gen. Benjamin Cabell was born on his family's estate, "Repton," on the James River. After attending school at Hampden-Sydney, he emigrated with his father, "Repton" Joseph Cabell, Jr., to Kentucky in 1811. He soon returned to Virginia and, finding a military career more exciting than the life of a of lawyer (for which he had trained), he joined the Army. He served first on the staff of General Joel Leftwich, then with General John Pegram. Cabell stayed involved with the state militia after the war, and the General Assembly eventually appointed him Major-General of Milita.
Prominent Presbyterian minister Moses Hoge, then president of Cabell's alma mater, Hampden-Sydney, married Cabell to Sallie Epes Doswell in December of 1816. The happy couple removed to Danville, Virginia, where they lived in prosperity until the Civil War. During their residency in Pittsylvania County, Cabell served several times in the General Assembly and in the Constitutional Convention of 1829-1830. Sarah Epes Doswell Cabell bore eleven children, and the participation of six of them in the Civil War brought tragedy to the couple's twilight years. The General died soon after hearing of the death of his youngest, Benjamin Edward Cabell, in March of 1862.
Sallie Epes Doswell Cabell