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Civil War Letters of Adam Badeau

This collection documents Adam Badeau's career as Grant’s secretary during the
war, as well as a diplomat and Grant’s biographer after it. Researchers
interested in the particulars of Badeau's career should consult the Ulysses S.
Grant Association newsletter in folder 69 in order to establish details of the
beginning of his career, his rise in the military administration, and his
relationship with Grant.Badeau’s letters offer a lot of insight into the military events he experienced.
He met regularly not only with Grant, but with William Tecumseh Sherman, Horace
Porter, Richard Busteed, George Henry Thomas, Orville Babcock, Ely Parker, John
Rawlins, and others. His relationships with these individuals are described in
his correspondence with James Harrison Wilson, which comprises most of this
collection. There’s also some interesting information on Edwin Booth, brother of
John Wilkes, who is considered by some to be the greatest American actor of all
time. In these letters, Badeau provides some meaningful commentary on these
figures as well as the general discussion topics of the time: the fate of
slavery, reconstruction, etc.In 1863, after Badeau has been wounded fighting with General Grant at Port
Hudson, he spends months in New York and New Port with little company besides
his caretakers and surgeons (including Edwin Booth, who becomes a dear friend of
Badeau) and he writes to Wilson regularly. In this period of perpetual physical
pain and loneliness, his close relationship to Wilson becomes apparent.He mostly reports on military affairs, politics, and his convalescence, and these
letters show much insight, especially regarding the future of the South. In
addition, these letters demonstrate his friendship with Wilson. Badeau engages
in a witty and at times flirty banter regarding their correspondence and
intimacy. In these letters he divulges how meaningful their friendship is. In
1864, a breach in their friendship arises, which is not fully explained because
Wilson's letters are not part of this collection. Eventurally, they do become
friends again, and Badeau returns to writing about the generals he serves, and
the war, and the aftermath of the war.The collection consists of 79 autograph letters from Adam Badeau to Union general
James Harrison Wilson, dated 1862 to 1865, most of which were written while
Badeau was General Ulysses S. Grant's military secretary in the Civil War. One
letter describes the Confederate surrender at Appomattox and the meeting between
Generals Lee and Grant. Also included is a letter (1909) by Wilson and a few
newspaper clippings about him.