Wetlands are major sources of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases released during microbial degradation. Despite the fact that decomposition is mainly driven by bacteria and fungi, little is known about the taxonomic diversity of bacterial communities in wetlands, particularly Sphagnum bogs. To explore bacterial community composition, 24 bogs in Vermont and Massachusetts were censused for bacterial diversity at the surface (oxic) and 1 m (anoxic) regions. Bacterial diversity was characterized by a terminal restriction fragment length (T-RFLP) fingerprinting technique and a cloning strategy that targeted the 16S rRNA gene. T-RFLP analysis revealed a high level of diversity, and a canonical correspondence analysis demonstrated marked similarity among bogs, but consistent differences between surface and subsurface assemblages. 16S rDNA sequences derived from one of the sites showed high numbers of clones belonging to the Deltaproteobacteria group. Several other phyla were represented, as well as two Candidate Division-level taxonomic groups. These data suggest that bog microbial communities are complex, possibly stratified, and similar among multiple sites.