|Rank:||Captain (Sharpe's Eagle)|
Sharpe's Rifles, Eagle, Gold, Battle, Company, Sword, Enemy,Honour, Regiment, Siege
- "So I do my duty, and land in the shit."
"You have at last seized the essence of soldiering."
- — Sharpe and Hogan
Michael Hogan is a middle aged, snuff addicted Irishman in the Royal Engineers, who also serves as an exploring officer for Wellington, riding behind enemy lines in full uniform, and serves to introduce Sharpe into the murky world of politics and espionage. Unlike many Irishmen in the British army, he was not forced to enlist due to poverty; his family always had money, and though not wealthy, they were comfortable. He enlisted for the chance to be an engineer and practice his skills.
Sharpe first meets Hogan in the final pages of Sharpe's Rifles. The engineer seems delighted with Sharpe and his adventures. In Sharpe's Eagle, it appears as if the detached company of Rifles has been at the beck and call of Captain Hogan, as his escort unit as he mapped roads and passes that led into Spain for Wellesley's army. Previous maps being referred to as a "wondrous work of the Spanish imagination," a job Sharpe considers well done and in agreeable company (Sharpe's Eagle). He later explains to Wellington that he appropriated Sharpe and his Rifles after they were cut off from their unit and has been using them as an escort on his trips to the frontier (Sharpe's Havoc).
Sergeant Harper irreverently refers to Captain Hogan as "Happy," but during the action at Valdelacasa under Sir Henry Simmerson, Sharpe saw him lose his temper for the first time. Both he and Sharpe were placed under arrest by Simmerson after the debacle at Valdelacasa, when Simmerson's orders lost the regiment its colours, and he attempted to shift the blame to them. Wellesley, however, deferred to Hogan's assessment of the action, placing his full trust in him, and furiously dressed down Simmerson for his foolish and disgraceful actions, and declared the South Essex a battalion of Detachments, promoting Sharpe Captain of the Light Company on Hogan's recommendation.
In Sharpe's Havoc, he sends Sharpe to keep an eye on Lt. Colonel James Christopher, a diplomat who held no army commission, but was a Foreign Office flunky who kept his own agenda. When their position outside Oporto is overwhelmed by the French, he reluctantly left Sharpe behind to rescue the missing Englishwoman, Kate Savage. "In the short time I've known you, Richard, I've noticed you possess a lamentable tendency to put on shining armor and look for ladies to rescue. King Arthur, God rest his soul, would have loved you."
Through a series of misadventures, it is revealed that Christopher is a traitor, and almost as soon as Sharpe has returned to friendly territory, he and Hogan are ordered to relieve His Majesty's Army of the burden of him by Lord Pumphrey, whom Hogan despises, calling him a serpent. Hogan's resourcefulness and knowledge of the roads to and from Portugal allow him to reach the Spanish-Portuguese border before Marshall Soult's army, and allow Sharpe to catch Christopher as ordered - but due to the nature of Sharpe's field promotion, and the fact that engineers are only promoted through seniority, neither man was rewarded for the action (Sharpe's Havoc).
Just prior to 1810, Hogan transfers to Wellington's staff with a promotion. He is valuable for his engineering skills, his ability to speak Spanish and Portuguese, and for his rare ability to demonstrate common sense (Sharpe's Gold).
He is instrumental in getting Patrick Harper's unearned sentence of 100 lashes reduced to sixty, by pleading Harper's record to Colonel Windham, commander of the South Essex. He and Sharpe also snapped at each other as to what a soldier was, and Hogan accused his friend of 'swanning about like a pirate' (Sharpe's Company). He took Sharpe away from the Battalion for his friend's sake during the period he was forced to return to the rank of Lieutenant, and had him working for him until the assault on Badejoz.
His regard for and friendship for Richard Sharpe was brought into focus in Sharpe's Sword when he thought Sharpe dead, and suddenly resented him for denying his friendship to those who still lived; that life would thereafter be anti-climactic, inadequate, and dull. He ordered Harper released after being arrested for digging up graves to prove that Sharpe was not among the dead, then the two of them sought Sharpe in the death room, and found him gravely wounded. They moved him to a clean room, and then he ordered Harper and Isabella to stay with him. When the rifleman finally recovered, Hogan nearly embraced Sharpe, but then simply smiled in pleasure, embarrassing Sharpe with his delight.
He likes Teresa Moreno and approves of her as a mate for Sharpe, and plays delightedly with Antonia when possible (Sharpe's Sword). He also considers Sharpe a gentleman, in reality rather than by birth, but Hogan was saddened that Sharpe only saw life as one immense battle, and he fought it with unparalleled ferocity (Sharpe's Eagle).
In February of 1814, he fell ill with a dangerous fever, which was otherwise not described. Sharpe visits him on his sickbed in St Jean de Luz, France, and tries to speak to the delirious major, using his given name for the first time. Hogan manages to distinctly convey the names Ducos and Maquereau, as if he were trying to give Sharpe the information he would need duringSharpe's Siege. Feeling he would never forgive himself if he didn't make a gesture of friendship, Sharpe took the fevered man's hand in farewell.
Upon return from the desperate events at the fortress of Teste de Burch, Sharpe was informed that Hogan's fever had proved fatal; and he was devastated. "He wept because a friend had died." (Sharpe's Siege).
In the TV series, Hogan recruits Sharpe under the smokescreen of recovering the missing banker Rothschild, while actually manipulating him into joining Colonel Don Blas Vivar for his morale-heightening assault on Santiago Compostella. In the books Sharpe becomes embroiled in these affairs before even meeting Hogan.
In both cases, the end result is the same: Hogan is greatly impressed with Sharpe's initiative and often recruits him as an agent, and to make a decent fighting battalion out of the abused South Essex. In Sharpe's Eagle, after Sharpe demonstrates the South Essex capable of firing not only three but four shots a minute, the other officers ride off without a word, but Hogan playfully admonishes him, "Stop showing off, Sharpe."
Hogan vanishes from the series without explanation after the second film, due to conflicting commitments for Brian Cox, the actor who portrayed him.
He was succeeded by a string of alternate intelligence officers and was mentioned only once again after Nairn filled his role.