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    Diary of Union Private Octave Bruso of the 50th New York Engineers. Entries from January 23, 1864, through January 16, 1865, recording experiences at the battles of the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. On May 6, 1864, Bruso writes about fighting at the Battle of the Wilderness: "In line of Battle on the north side of Mine River. Terrible fighting on the early part of the day. Behind the Breast works all day. Made Pits. One man of Co. E. Wounded. . . . layed in Pits for 24 Hours." Bruso spent the next several weeks marching, "Building Roads & Bridges", and witnessing nearby fighting. On June 1, 1864, he writes, "Arrived at Cole [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 nest double quick." Between battles, he watched "A Negro publicly hung at 6th C[orps] for committing adultery on a white woman." Near Petersburg on July 30, 1864, he writes, "Petersburg Seiged at 4 ½ a.m. Terrible artillery and infantry fight." As a member of the engineer corps, he spent much of his time in hard labor, "digging all night" or "making rifle pits".

    Twenty-five year old Private Bruso, from Buffalo, New York, mustered into "E" Co., New York 50th Engineers in December 1862; he mustered out in June 1865. Every day in the diary has an entry, though one week's worth of pages are missing from November 1864. The diary, written mostly in pencil, contains various doodles throughout. Included is an obituary from the Buffalo Courier-Express (1926) of Octave's wife, Charlotte Pierce Bruso, the adopted daughter of the nephew of President Franklin Pierce. Their marriage is recorded in the entry for February 16, 1864. Mostly tight binding with minor and occasional stains. Cloth wraps, back cover is rubbed, creased, and torn. 3" x 5". Very good condition.

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    December, 2009
    12th Saturday
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