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Octave Bruso Diary: Week of May 29, 1864

Note: This is one week’s worth of many diary entries of Octave Bruso, who participated in the Siege of Petersburg as a member of the 50th New York Engineers.1

Sunday May 29, 1864

Beautiful and cool day. Wrote a letter to my Wife. In camp all day.

Monday May 30, 1864

Beautiful day. Cannonading heard at the front. In camp all day. Mailed two letters for my Wife.

Tuesday May 31, 1864

Beautiful day. Got marching orders for the front and left King Wms. Ford at 11 A.M. Arrived on the Right at __  (Editor: unclear) P.M. Cut roads to the line of battle. Pretty heavy firing through the day.

Wednesday June 1, 1864

Warm day. Do not feel very well. Got marching orders at 11 ½ P.M. and left. Got a letter from Geo. Montieth. Arrived at Cold Harbor at 2 P.M. Marched hard and almost bushed. A most terrible battle was fought and we had to leave our place of rest double quick.

Thursday June 2, 1864

Beautiful day. Heavy skirmishing all night. Amos Robbins died from a wound recieved yesterday.

ROBBINS, AMOS.—Age, 25 years. Enlisted, August 26, 1861, at Maine; mustered in as private, Co. E, August 29, 1861, to serve three years; discharged for disability, April 30, 1862, at Camp Woodbury, Va. (Report of the Adjutant General)

(Editor: Amos Robbins is listed as a Civil War veteran who made the ultimate sacrifice on the memorial at Broome County Veteran’s Memorial Arena. Perhaps there is a mistake in the records in the Adjutant General‘s report, or perhaps Octave was incorrect with the date of death.)

Friday June 3, 1864

Beautiful day. In camp all day. Corp’l of the Guard. A Terrible charge made at dusk.

Saturday June 4, 1864

Beautiful day. Wrote to my wife and to my Uncle Antoine. Struck tents and moved near 6th Corps Hd Quarters. Recieved 2 letters from my Wife. The company was out all night.


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