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Born in Enniscorthy, Ireland September 15, 1835 Walter Bogan emigrated to the United States, Brooklyn, New York in his youth. He served as volunteer for the Union Army under Pettit's Battery B, with the army of the Potomac. He fired the last shot at the Battle of Gettysburg during Pickett's famous last charge. He served all five years of the Civil War without being wounded despite serving in every major engagement. He died September 10, 1902 at the gates of the Brooklyn Navy Yard where he was employed.
"There is little need to describe Pickett's charge across the fields before us, so often described by actors and spectators, and so well remembered by some of you. Checked here and there by the fire of infantry and artillery, seriously impeded by Stannard's attack on their right flank, this column of brave men had yet impetus enough to reach the spot at which they aimed. Only to reach it but not to conquer. As they came up one of our own men loaded his gun with a three-fold charge of canister and discharged it, overturning the gun in its recoil, but dealing death amid the opposing ranks. Double canister was fired by you and the neighboring batteries until the last moment, Walter Bogan, now present, having the honor of firing the last gun. These rapid deadly discharges opened great gaps in the advancing host, only to be filled up again. The enemy swept on over all obstacles and around the pieces, and foe the first and last time in the history of Pettit's Battery, the hands of the foe were laid upon its guns. It was to be but for a moment, but one brave man could not even endure that brief possession. Sergeant Darveau fired his revolver at the foe as they came on, and an officer planted his colors on a gun, exclaiming, "This is ours!" he retorted, "You lie!" seized a trail hand-spike, and struck him full across the forehead, killing him on the spot. Darveau himself fell instantly, riddled with bullets. It was a daring deed, if a needless sacrifice. For now the Union lines closed fast around the brave Confederate remnant, escape was cut off, and there was no aid at hand. A few moments more, and all who were not dead were prisoners. The men took their places again at their guns, but no second charge followed, and no further storm of shot and shell swept across the valley. The battle of Gettysburg had been fought and won."
Chaplain Beauchamp, Final Report on the Battlefield of Gettysburg ... By New York (State). Monuments Commission for the Battlefields of Gettysburg and Chattanooga, William Freeman Fox, Daniel Edgar Sickles Published by J.B. Lyon Company, Printers, 1900 Item notes: v. 3 Original from Harvard University Digitized Dec 17, 2007 1462 pages