US GenWeb

This biography is from HEROES OF ALBANY, by Rufus W. Clark, D. D.

Maj. James Henry Bogart

James Henry Bogart was born in the city of Albany on the24th day of March, 1839. He was the son of John Henry Bogart, who now resides in the city of New York. His ancestors were prominent citizens of Albany for more than two centuries, and during this long period they had been identified with the social circles and general interests of the city. In the perilous days of the American Revolution, they discharged their duty to their country with patriotic ardor and with signal success.

James inherited the virtues of his ancestors, and commenced life with a high standard of moral integrity, and of intellectual attainment before him. He was a dutiful son, a diligent scholar, and a faithful friend. He was educated at the Albany Academy, an institution that can boast of many men of high worth and eminent distinction among its graduates. On entering upon manhood, he engaged in the business of engineering in company with his brother, now a valuable officer in the service of the United States Government, at Fortress Monroe. He devoted himself with energy to his business, and accepted with cheerfulness the cares and toils of life.

As years advanced, his high integrity and appreciated character called him to a trust more responsible, and he was placed in charge of one of the desks at the Assorting House; at that time an office in Albany involving each day the management of vast sums of money.

In his leisure hours he sought recreation in drilling with a company of young associates, little dreaming then of the approaching stern realities of war. Just at that time the discipline and achievements of the Zouaves excited great enthusiasm among the young men of Albany, and a company was organized. Of that joyous band who sought at first only manly exercise, but who nobly responded to their conntry's call, the sepulchre of battle has received a fearful proportion.

Mr. Bogart, besides being a youth of great promise and ardent patriotism, was a follower of the Saviour of the world. Attached to the services of the Episcopal church, he became a member as well as an attendant, and throughout life retained his fellowship with that church. Those who knew him intimately reflect now with great satisfaction upon the fact, that the even tenor of his life flowed on with his Christian principles, and that the church recognized him as one of those who gave a living testimony to the truth as it is in Jesus.

But when the cry of war was heard, the heart of Mr. Bogart responded to the call. He believed in the life of a soldier, and as he had shared in the pageant, he accepted the reality.

So highly were his character and qualifications appreciated, that he was at once commissioned as Adjutant in Col. Vinton's Regiment. Several of our prominent citizens presented him with a beautiful sword and other tokens of their warm, personal friendship. The following correspondence passed between these friends and Major Bogart:

To MajorJames H. Bogart:
In this time of our country's sorest need, we feel an especial pride and joy in those of our own citizens, who have been swift to fly to her defence and to lay their noblest offerings upon her altar. We cannot forget those who, having cheerfully borne the exposure of the camp and the perils of the battle-field, are ready still, with unfaltering courage, to go where other trials and other sacrifice await them.

And in presenting to you this sword, and other tokens of our personal friendship, as well as appreciation of past services, we would express our earnest hope that, under the guidance of the God of Battles, the future may be still more glorious than the past; and that whether by an active life or in an honorable death, the name of Jas. H. Bogart may be like that of the heroes of old, "without fear and without reproach."

Albany, October 8, 1862.

Hon. Gideon Hawley and others:
Hon. and Respected Sir—Accept my grateful acknowledgments for the honor bestowed in presenting me with those beautiful emblems of your esteem and confidence, and may they ever be consecrated to the cause of Freedom, Justice, and Humanity. With earnest devotion, may this glittering weapon be wielded in defence of our glorious Union, and may the time soon arrive when the nation shall know war no more.

Through you, permit me to return thanks to other kind friends for this high personal favor. With sentiments of deep respect.

align=right>Sincerely yours,
JAMES H. BOGART, Major 3d Metropolitan Guard, 162d N. Y. V.
New York, October 11, 1862.

After having faithfully served his country in connection with this regiment, and passed through the hardships of the Virginia campaign, he resigned his position as Adjutant. Soon, however, he was again in the service as Major in Col. Benedict's regiment, a body of men whose valor and achievements reflected great honor upon the sons of Albany.

The regiment was ordered to Louisiana, a State that had been singularly fatal to his immediate kindred, as one relative after another had gone there, and met the last summons.

In the fierce siege of Port Hudson, Mr. Bogart was one of those on whom fell the heat of that terrible series of battles.

The enemy, in their powerful entrenchments, sustained by the hope that Vicksburg could not be conquered, made this siege a work of destruction. Their fire swept the plain, and the record of each day's progress was written in the sad sacrifice of human life.

On Sunday, the 14th of June, 1863, a day when at least pious and God-fearing soldiers are most reluctant to fight, except in self-defence, Maj. Bogart was ordered to advance against the enemy. He marched across the plain, where showers of shot were falling, and was struck by a shell, which tore away his sword hilt, and carried it through his left hip. He felt that the assault was well nigh desperate, and all his feelings revolted against a Sabbath day attack upon that stronghold. But obedience and courage are the duties of a soldier, and in no breast did they burn with a purer flame than in that which was now heaving with its last breath. Far from a Christian home, and dear relatives and friends, at eleven o'clock on that Sabbath, dies Maj. James Bogart, of Albany, in the twenty-fourth year of his age.

When sixteen years of age, he united with the church of Christ, and ever lived faithful to his Christian vows. As a boy, James was pure minded, truthful, affectionate and obedient. He loved his home, loved his parents and devoted relatives. But he also loved his country; and at the first tidings of rebellion, the spirit of patriotism awoke in his breast, and he consecrated himself to the protection and welfare of his country. His remains lie in the Albany Rural Cemetery, by the side of other heroes, waiting the last trumpet's peal, when to all believers in Jesus, this corruptible will put on incorruption, and this mortal be clothed with immortality.

The following account of his funeral appeared in the "Albany Journal," under date of March 22d, 1864.

"The funeral of Major James H. Bogart, of the One Hundred and Sixty-second Regiment, took place from St. Peter's Church this afternoon. The services at the church were conducted by the Rectors, Rev. Messrs. Wilson and Tatlock.

"The funeral escort consisted of a detachment of volunteers from the Barracks, under command of Major Van Slyck, preceded by Schreiber's band.

"The bearers were all officers in the service, Messrs. Watson, Raymond, Green, Gross, Lennox, Russell, Thomas and Gregory.

"The cortege passed down State street to Broadway, about four o'clock, on its way to the cemetery."

The following notices of the deceased appeared in the papers:

"His friends have till this morning rather hoped than dared to believe that there might, in the confused rumors of war, be some doubt of his death. But the confirmation, as the first tidings, comes from a source too sure and careful for error. There is no eulogy born of the grave, even of a battle grave, to be uttered of this young soldier, which would not have been spoken of him while in the flush of life. It is not through the curtain of the shroud that the truth of virtue is clearest seen. His life was that of a pure and true hearted man. When the first breath of war reached us, his heart gave its impulses to his country, and believing in the right and chivalry of the struggle, he was one of those who went to arms with a thought that understood the hour and had the heart to meet it. His kindred saw in his nature that which was true, earnest, sanguine. They gave him up to his country's service with the consciousness that the camp and the battle field work their dread results most deeply, into genial and generous hearts as his was.

"He won our love by that which, in a young heart, always attaches men for its rarity—the devotion to home, the attachment to parents, the determination for independence, and that which rises from the memories of the grave, like the Angel of the Resurrection—the clothing of a young heart in the bosses and with the promises of the Gospel.

"Grief has but a limited vocabulary. The words are few and broken in which the heart tells its lamentation. Solitude and sorrow blend their shadows. He shall have the never-forgotten memory of an unfeigned love, and that will not obtrude itself: but he has in this city, amidst his associates, in the assemblage of the young, in the association of his church, those who know that the holocaust which these days are offering, includes no worthier name than of him who thus died in his duty.


"Killed in the attack upon Port Hudson, June 14, James H. Bogart, of Albany, Major of the One Hundred and Sixty-second Regiment New York State Volunteers, in the twenty-fourth year of his age.

"The spirit of a gallant soldier, and, nobler name, of a Christian man, passed away when this young officer fell. Death came to him in an assault which he felt to be well nigh desperate; another offering to the demon of war made on the day sacred to the Prince of Peace. Has it ever occurred to those responsible for this bloody fight that the time chosen for it might have something to do with its ill-success? From the age of sixteen Major Bogart was a communicant of the Church, and was faithful to his Christian vows. There are consolations, thus, for those who mourn his departure. They can, with good reason, believe that the natural body sown in his far-off lonely grave, will be raised a spiritual body, in the awakening of the dead in Christ.

Send comments or suggestions to:
Debby Masterson

Go Back to Albany County Biographies
Go Back to Home Page