War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0284 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

Fourth. From experiments made here for the first time it is conclusively proved that telegrams can be sent with ease and certainty between the balloon and the quarters of the commanding officer.

Fifth. I feel assured, although I have not witnessed the experiment, that when the surface wind is from the east, as it was for several days last week, an observer in the balloon can be made to float nearly to the enemy's camp (as it is nohe west of us), or even to float over it, and then return eastward by rising to a higher elevation. This assumption is based on the fact that the upper strata of wind in this latitude iseastward. Mr. Lowe informs me, and I do not doubt his statement, that he will on any day which is favorable make an excursion of the kind above mentioned.

Sixth. From all the facts I have observed and the information I have gathered I am sure that important information may be obtained in regard to the topography of the country and to the position and movements of an enemy by means of the balloon, and that Mr. Lowe is well qualified to render service in this way by the balloon now in his possession.

Seventh. The balloon which Mr. Lowe now has in Washington can only be inflated in a city where street gas is to be obtained. If an exploration is required at a point too distant for the transportation of the inflated balloon, an additional apparatus for the generation of hydrogen gas will be required. The necessity of generating the gas renders the use of the balloon more expensive, but this, where important results are required, is of comparatively small importance.

For these preliminary experiments, as you may recollect, a sum not to exceed $200 or $250 was to be appropriated, and in accordance with this Mr. Lowe has presented me with the inclosed statement of items,* which I think are reasonable, since nothing is charged for labor and time of the aeronaut.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary Smithsonian Institution.


June 21, 1861.


August, Me.:

Oblige me with a statement of the number of regiments organized by you in your State and mustered into service for the war, and the number accepted by this Department not yet mustered, if any, and when these will be ready to muster.


Secretary of War.

(Sent also to the Governors of the following-named States: Goodwin, Governor of New Hampshire; Fairvanks, Governor of Vermont; Buckingham, Governor of Connecticut; Andrew, Governor of Massachusetts; Morgan, Governor of New York; Olden, Governor of New Jersey; Curtin, Governor of Pennsylvania; Dennison, Governor of Ohio; Blair, Governor of Michigan; Randall, Governor of Wisconsin; Kirkwood, Governor of Iowa; Ramsey, Governor of Minnesota; Morton, Governor of Indiana; Yates, Governor of Illinois.)