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Octave Bruso Diary: Week of January 8, 1865

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 January 8 1865

Beautiful Day-Inspection at 9 A.M. recieved a letter from my dear Wife. Attended preaching on the Parade Ground. Wrote to my Wife. recieved another letter from my Wife by the Evening mail.


Monday January 9, 1865

Pleasent + Warm all day. Mailed a letter to my wife. Out with the 1st Squad getting out wood.


Tuesday January 10, 1865

Rained hard all night and all day. Went out after wood at 10 A.M. and got Wet through. Did not feel very good all the rest of the day. Cleared off at night.


Wednesday January 11, 1865

Beautiful day. In Camp all day with my Squad, got no teams (Editor: unclear). Recieved a letter from Mary Bruso by the Evening Mail.


Thursday January 12, 1865

Beautiful Day. Mailed a letter to Mary Bruso with a note for Aunty. In Camp all the forenoon. Fred Bonneville (sic: Bonville) + Vashing (Editor: unclear) Of Co H visited me + went out to Fort Welch with Fred. They left for home at 4 o’clock P.M.


Friday January 13, 1865

Written in the winter of 1864 (French): Dieu est le createur du ciel et de la Terre. Les cheveaux de Madamoisselle arrie sant freize (Editor: this is unclear. Possible translation: God is the creator of heaven and earth. The horses of St Freize Madamoisselle miracle.)

 Beautiful Day. Out all day getting wood for the Company. Recieved a letter from my dear Wife and one from Cochran’s with a pipe.


Saturday January 14, 1865

Pleasent day. Mailed a letter to my dear Wife. Out in the woods until 2 P.M. getting wood with 8 of my men + then came to Camp to Corduroy the Major’s Stable.


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