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Susan R. Jervey (Susan Ravenel), b. 1840 and Charlotte St. J. Ravenel
Two Diaries from Middle St. John's, Berkeley, South Carolina, February-May, 1865
[Pinopolis, S.C.]: St. John's Hunting Club, 1921.


Susan Ravenel Jervey and Charlotte St. Julien Ravenel were cousins who lived in St. John's parish in Berkeley County, South Carolina, north of Charleston. Susan was born in 1840 to William Jervey, a lawyer, and lived at Cedar Grove plantation. In February 1865 her family moved to Northampton plantation for greater protection from Union troops. Charlotte was the daughter of Henry William Ravenel, a well-known botanist. She was living at the Pooshee plantation in 1865.

Two Diaries from Middle St. John's, February to May, 1865, published in 1921, includes significant excerpts from the journals Jervey and Ravenel kept at the end of the Civil War. These excerpts were published by the St. John's Hunting Club, a local society in Berkeley County, South Carolina, with explanatory footnotes and some supplementary materials. In the diaries, each woman describes the constant threat of Union raids; the difficulties associated with finding enough food to feed their families and slaves; and the problems they experienced trying to manage slaves during war. The two women describe their preparations for the arrival of Federal soldiers, and the general tension that pervaded the area as the Union army passed through their county. Supplementing these journals is a 1917 speech by Mrs. Mary Rhodes (Waring) Henigan, who lived near Jervey and Ravenel in 1865. The publishers also include a short report from the Massachusetts 55th Regiment that describes the unit's interactions with Berkeley County plantations.

Work Consulted: Jones, Katherine M., Heroines of Dixie: Confederate Women Tell Their Story of the War, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1955.

Harris Henderson

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