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Octave Bruso Diary: Week of August 21, 1864

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 21, 1864

Beautiful Day. Went out to work to the front and were shelled-out. Came back to camp at 1 P.M.. recieved a letter from my brother Augustin. Felt unwell at night. Corpl of the Guard.


Monday August 22, 1864

Pleasent. Some rain in the eve. Wrote to my Brother. Recieved a letter from my wife with X. Came off …(Editor: page ripped)


Tuesday August 23, 1864

Pleasent day. Wrote to my wife. Did not go out to work feel unwell.


Wednesday August 24, 1864

Pleasent day. Unwell all day. Excused from night work by Capt. Hines (sic: Hine). Recieved a letter from my wife, one from Henry and one from Johnnie (Editor: unclear).


Thursday August 25, 1864

Warm Day. Went to see the Doctor. Excused from heavy duty. Wrote to my wife, to Henry (Editor: line through “to Henry”), and Johnnie (Editor: unclear). The whole Reg’t ordered to the front as Infantry. Continual firing all night. Heavy fighting on the extreme left.


Friday August 26, 1864

Warm day. Relieved (Editor: unclear) from the Entrenching. Tool (Editor: unclear) Train turned over yesterday. The Regiment returned this morning. Went out to work ___  (Editor: unclear) + came near being shot in the head. Some rain during the night.


Saturday August 27, 1864

Warm and Pleasent all day. Wrote to Henry Inman. Recieved a letter from my wife. Recieved a letter from Schneider + Loughran (Editor: unclear). Out to work this night.


  1. “1864 Diary of Private Octave Bruso, 50th NY Engineers, Company E” edited by Tom Bauerle, Buffalo, NY, 2010.
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