Note: This is one week’s worth of diary entries of Octave Bruso, who participated in the Siege of Petersburg as a member of the 50th New York Engineers.1
Sunday August 14, 1864
Warm Day. Excused by the Doctor-felt pretty bad in the morning. RecD marching orders in the forenoon and it was countermanded in the evening-and pitch tents again. Rained in the night.
Monday August 15, 1864
Hot in the forenoon + heavy rains towards eve. Excused from all duties. Feel well but weak yet. Wrote to my wife. RecD 2 letters from my wife with 24 stamps.
Tuesday August 16, 1864
Pleasent day. Wrote to my wife. Excused bye (sic: by) the Doctor from duty. The Co went out to work and were ordered back again. Some rain during the night.
Wednesday August 17, 1864
Pleasent all day. Some rain in the Eve. Reported for duty-to the Dr (Editor: unclear). Heavy fighting from 1 A.M. until 4 A.M. by Artillery. Went to Gen’l HdQrs for papers.
Thursday August 18, 1864
Cool and some rain. Heard fighting during the night from 1 o’clock until 4 A.M. In camp all day. Went out to work during the night. Came near being shot.
Friday August 19, 1864
Rained most of the day. Did not go out to work this night. Recieved a letter from my wife.
Saturday August 20, 1864
Rainy all day. Wrote to my wife. Did not go out today.
- “1864 Diary of Private Octave Bruso, 50th NY Engineers, Company E” edited by Tom Bauerle, Buffalo, NY, 2010. ↩