"Death" of Major Archibald Bogle,
Thirty-fifth United States Colored Troops
(First North Carolina Colored Volunteers)

MARCH 2, 1864.


Death of Major Archibald Bogle, First Regiment North Carolina Colored Infantry. The sad news reached this city yesterday that Major Bogle of the 1st North Carolina Colored Infantry had been killed in the late battle in Florida. Upon his relatives and friends the intelligence fell with distressing weight. Major Bogle was the only son of Wm. Bogle, Esq., of Melrose. He was formerly a member of the 2d Battalion M. V. M., and did duty at Fort Warren during the time the Battalion was stationed there in 1861. He was afterwards commissioned 2d Lieutenant in the 17th Regiment Mass. Volunteers, and left the Commonwealth, never to return, Aug. 25, 1861. He was afterward promoted 1st Lieutenant in the 17th, which position he held until he was selected by Brig. Gen. Wild for Major of the 1st Regiment of colored infantry, raised in North Carolina. [Editor's Note: Official records state that Lt. Bogle was actually promoted for gallant conduct on the field May 1862 - He was then promoted to major in the 35th USCT May 1863.] Major Bogle was one of the promising young officers that has left Massachusetts during this war. Although but about twenty-two years of age, he was complete master of his profession. He had a natural adaptation for military study and science. His temperament was remarkably cool and steady. He was never excited, and he never lost his poise. A braver or truer heart never beat under a soldier's uniform. He fell at the head of his regiment, far from home and kindred, but his memory will be ever cherished with warm affection by all who knew him as a brave, good man who gave up his young life on the battle field of his country and humanity. [Editor's Note: Bogle was mentioned in General Orders for distinguished gallantry at the Battle of Olustee.]

This letter is from an article printed in the Boston Journal; March 2, 1864; pg. 2, col. 1.

It is made available here through the courtesy of Thomas Hayes (see below).

However, I am in possession of several documents provided by James G. Bogle, Jr of South Carolina, which show that Major Bogle survived the battle and actually died in Oakland, California on October 11, 1893, almost 30 years later. Bogle's full name on the Certificate of Death is listed as "Col. Archibald Bogle." His birthplace is listed as Scotland and the reason for his death is listed as "Alcoholic Cirrhosis of the Liver." Complications were listed as "Valoular Heart Disease. Kidneys became inactive toward the last and Dropsy resulting." Bogle was 53 years old when he died. It is easier to understand his alcoholism when you read his adventures after his capture. Bogle left a wife, Anna Conover—35 years old—whom he married on August 10, 1893.

Plus, records of the 35th U.S.C.T. show that Major Bogle rejoined the regiment in May 1865, after coming through the lines in March. And, he was brevetted to lieutenant colonel as of 18 March 1865.

Text: "Archibald Bogle; Major; April 28th 1863; Residence, Melrose, Masschusetts (sic); Wounded and taken prisioner at Olustee, Fla, February 20th 1864; Returned to Regt. May 15th 1865; Bev Lt Col U S Vols to date from Mch 18th 1865."

But the story goes on... James Bogle sent me additional information on Archibald Bogle showing that the cause of death might not have been from "Alcoholic Cirrhosis of the Liver" after all. His widow submitted numerous papers to the Department of the Interior in 1924 to prove her claim to pension benefits after she was widowed for a second time. Some of these papers include statements by medical physicans who treated him later in life and before his death. One letter states that Archibald Bogle died from "malarial condition of the liver" and "bowels obstructed caused by a stricture from a gunshot wound, received in service in the Civil War." The doctor who claimed that Bogle died from "Alcoholic Cirrhosis of the Liver" also changed his statement to read "malarial poison and general dropsy" as the cause of his death. One wonders if the medical doctors took pity on Bogle's widow and reported that his death was service related so that she could obtain the pension.

Thomas Hayes created an historical reference Web site, Letters of the Civil War, from the newspapers of the cities and towns of Massachusetts. He researched the Boston Herald, Chelsea Telegraph and Pioneer, Dedham Gazette, Roxbury Gazette, Randolph Transcript, Worcester Transcript and the Malden Messenger. Unfortunately, his site is no longer available.

Hayes stated, "I have filed, by date, a little over 3,300 letters. These are from the Soldiers, Sailors, Nurses, Correspondents and Politicans. This project started out as a simple endeavor to find that one letter from my Grandfather, Walter A. Hewes, who served in the 1st Mass. Infantry and 4th Mass. Cavalry. To date, no luck, but I have about 30 more papers to research."

Other Letters from Olustee
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