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[300] and as he now remembers it, the coldest winter and the deepest snow that he ever saw in the mountains of Virginia. At the beginning of this winter a Colonel Winston Fontaine, who was born and reared near Richmond, came to Pocahontas county, commissioned by the Confederate government to raise a regiment of mounted men. This gentleman was a grandson of Patrick Henry, and married Miss Mary Burrows, the daughter of Dr. Burrows, the famous Baptist preacher of Richmond, who made such a reputation as chaplain among the Confederate soldiers. A Major Morgan accompanied Colonel Fontaine as his adjutant. Mrs. Fontaine also accompanied her husband to Western Virginia and spent the entire winter in the home of the late Colonel Paul McNeil, of the Little Levels of Pocahontas county. This gentleman had represented Pocahontas county in the Constitutional Convention of 1861, and the writer is his youngest son. At this time I was not an enlisted soldier, but was necessarily thrown a great deal of the time with Colonel Fontaine. I was seventeen years old, and Colonel Fontaine was just the man a boy would admire. He was a brave, generous Christian gentleman, a fine shot and a classic scholar. My father required me to help feed and care for his live stock that winter. Colonel Fontaine succeeded beyond his expectations in recruiting his regiment, and before the opening of spring he had a very respectable nucleus of a regiment of mounted men.


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