Adam Badeau, a literary man and journalist of New York, volunteered, at Port Royal, to act in any capacity which might prove useful, when Gen. Sherman contemplated an advance upon Savannah, in January, 1862. He was immediately appointed volunteer Aid on Gen. Sherman’s staff, and served in this capacity, without either rank or pay, till Gen. Sherman was relieved. The preparations for the siege of Fort Pulaski having then been completed, he volunteered and served as Aid to Gen. Gillmore, who commanded the United States forces during the bombardment of that work. He, with Gen. Gillmore, was the first to enter Fort Pulaski, being sent forward to meet the rebel officer who approached on Gen. Gillmore’s landing, after the flag of the fort was struck. The rebel was Capt. Simms, late editor of the Savannah Republican. Capt. Simms’ first words were civil: I trust, sir, you will pardon the delay that has occurred in receiving you: we thought you would land at the other wharf.” After this Capt. Simms wished to conduct Mr. Badeau to the commandant of the fort, but Badeau requested Simms rather to go to Gen. Gillmore. This was acceded to, and after a few words of parley, the three, accompanied also by Col. Rust of a Maine regiment, entered the fort; they were received at the portcullis by Col. Olmstead, the commandant, who conducted them first to his quarters, and afterwards to inspect the works, pointing out the havoc which had been made by the National batteries. In an interview of an hour’s duration between the two commanders, the terms of the capitulation were arranged. Gen. Gillmore and Col. Rust returned to Tybee Island, and Mr. Badeau was left to introduce a second party of National officers sent to receive the swords of the rebels. The ceremony of surrender took place in one of the casemates (used by Col. Olmstead for his own quarters) at about dark. Five National officers, besides Badeau, were present: Maj. Halpine, Adj.-Gen. for Gen. Hunter, Capt. S. H. Pelouze, Capt. Ely, Lieut. O’Rorke, and Lieut. Irwin of the Wabash. Each rebel, as he laid his sword on the table, announced his name and rank. The Colonel said, “I yield my sword, but I trust I have not disgraced it;” others made remarks less felicitous. After the ceremony, the National officers were invited to supper by these prisoners, and then returned to Tybee Island. Badeau, however, remained all night in Fort Pulaski, sleeping in the room with three rebel officers, and even sharing the bed of one of the hospitable prisoners. No Union troops arrived in the fort until about midnight, so that his sojourn among those who had so lately been his enemies, had a dash of romance about it. He was treated, however, with the greatest courtesy, the rebels apologizing for the fare he was offered by saying: “You see to what you have reduced us.” Hominy, molasses, hard bread, and pork were served for supper and breakfast; and for variety, sweet oil was used instead of molasses. The conversation was animated, and often touched on politics.
Immediately afterwards, Mr. Badeau was recommended to the President, by Gen. Hunter, for a captaincy, and made bearer of despatches to the Government, announcing the fall of Pulaski. He had also the honor of being mentioned in Gen. Gillmore’s formal report of the operations. The President accordingly at once appointed him an additional Aid to Maj.-Gen. Halleck, with the rank of Captain in the regular army.
Capt. Badeau was assigned to duty with his old chief. Brig.-Gen. Sherman, served under him during the siege of Corinth, and in the subsequent pursuit of Beauregard in Mississippi. He was afterwards ordered to the Department of the Gulf, but now (1865) occupies a position on the staff of Lieut.-Gen. Grant.
Originally posted 2008-08-10 16:08:06.