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Octave Bruso Diary: Week of June 12, 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 June 12, 1864

Very Cool Day. All quiet along the line during the forenoon. Co. L and the Dep’t Hd Qrs struck tents and went off. We struck tents at 6 P.M. and marched most all night took breakfast near Hopkin’s Mill Va (Editor: this may be incorrect, as Hopkin’s Mill, VA is not near Petersburg)on our way to the James River.

Monday June 13, 1864

Very pleasent day. Marched over 20 miles since we struck tents, Crossed the Chickahominy at 5 P.M. and camped on Lane’s (Editor: Jane’s?) farm. My heel very sore.

Tuesday June 14, 1864

Very pleasent day. Good for marching. Left camp at 5 (Editor: unclear) A.M. Arrived at James River at 5 P.M.

Wednesday June 15, 1864

Warm day. In camp all day near the James (Editor: unclear) River. Bought 2 Boxes of Raisins + 1 Box of Segars (sic: cigars). Went to see Fred Bonneville (sic: Bonville).

BONVILLE, FREDERICK.—Age, 22 years. Enlisted, February 23,1864, at Buffalo; mustered in as private, Co. F , February 23, 1864, to serve three years; transferred, May 5, 1864, to Co. A ; mustered out with company, June 13,1865, at Fort Barry, Va. (Report of the Adjutant General)

Thursday June 16, 1864

Warm day. Got marching orders and marched back two miles and came back to the River and camped again. Crossed the James at 9 P.M. on our way to Petersburg. I feel rather unwell and had my Baggage carried. Marched all night

Friday June 17, 1864

Very warm day. Felt well again towards 2 o’clock. Camped five miles from Petersburg. Detailed in charge of two Tool wagons to go with 3 Div. 6th Corps.

Saturday June 18, 1864

Cloudy and Cool. Wrote to my Wife. Marched two miles toward Petersburg. Got a letter from my wife.


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