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Octave Bruso Diary: Week of December 25, 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 December 25, 1864

Pleasent Day. At the Brigade Hospital. Had a good dinner at 3 P.M. Returned to Camp at 9 P.M. recieved my Dress Coat from Washington. And also a Great Coat from Fred Bonneville (sic: Bonville). Rained some during the night. Getting better again.


Monday December 26, 1864

Cloudy + Rainy. In Camp all day. Almost well again. Wrote to my dear Wife.


Tuesday December 27, 1864

Beautiful Day. Nothing done by the 1st Squad today. Perfectly well again.


Wednesday December 28, 1864

Pleasent most all Day + some Rain in the afternoon. Went out in charge of the Squad to work on the Observatory. Was taken with the chills again today and felt miserable. Lt. Howard broke his wrist.

HOWARD, AMOS.—Age, 23 years. Enlisted, August 31, 1861, at Maine; mustered in as private, Co., G, September 6, 1861, to serve three years; transferred to Co. E, November 1, 1861; promoted corporal, January 30, 1862; re-enlisted, January 31, 1864; promoted sergeant, March 1, 1864; mustered in as second lieutenant, December 27, 1864; mustered out with company, June 13, 1865, at Fort Barry, V a.; commissioned second lieutenant, November 30, 1864, with rank-from October 20, 1864, vice Kenyon, promoted. (Report of the Adjutant General)

Thursday December 29, 1864

(Editor: Writing scratched through)

Cloudy and Cool. Under Medical care sick in Camp! Felt a great deal better towards night. Snowed a little in the afternoon.


Friday December 30, 1864

Cold Day. Recieved a letter from my Wife, from my sister + from Line (Editor: Line? Sine?). Felt some better Today took the same medicine as yesterday.


Saturday December 31, 1864

Rainy Day. Wrote to my wife. To Line (Editor: Sine? Line?) and to Mary Bidelman. Wrote to Shellington-wrote to my sister. Wrote to Cochran at Washington. Mustered for 4 months. Felt about the same as yesterday. Attended the Entertainment at the hospital in the Evening.


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