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Octave Bruso Diary: Week of June 19, 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 19, 1864

Beautiful day. Wrote to my Wife. Wrote to Philip Lohmans (Editor: unclear) for envelopes 2.00. Wrote to Shellington for paper 2.00. Wrote to Post Master at Washington for stamps. Ordered out with tools at 9 P.M..

Monday June 20, 1864

Beautiful day. Very hard artillery fight from 8 to 10 A.M.. Shells flew thick over us. Our camp shelled and they had to move off. A Negro publicly hung at 6th C. for committing adultery on a white woman. Out all day waiting (Editor: unclear) for my tools. (in a ravine)

Tuesday June 21, 1864

Beautiful day. Went out again last night with tools and came back this morning. Our company changed camp. Got marching orders at 8 P.M. and left. Got a letter from my wife

Wednesday June 22, 1864

Beautiful day. Wrote to my wife! When we parked for breakfast. Camped (Editor: unclear) ordered out with my Tools and was out all night.

Thursday June 23, 1864

Warm Day. Met Col. Bidwell. Our lines advanced and so did I (Editor: I or L) with my Tools. Got my Pipe, Tobacco, Segars (sic: cigars) and a paper from my wife. Very close to the Picket (sic)
Line and heavy skirmishings.


Daniel Davidson Bidwell

Bidwell was mortally wounded in action October 19, 1864, at the Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia.

Friday June 24, 1864

Warm day. The 6th Corps fell back to the old line. Started from 6 at 6 HdQrts (Editor: unclear) at 3 P.M. for the front with Tools

Saturday June 25, 1864

Very warm day. At the same place all day. Recieved a paper from my wife.


  1. “1864 Diary of Private Octave Bruso, 50th NY Engineers, Company E” edited by Tom Bauerle, Buffalo, NY, 2010.
  2. Library of Congress American Memory, Digital ID: cwpb-05585
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