War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0256 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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noted down. The next day, upon calling on the captain to know what conclusion he had arrived at, I was informed that he had decided to give an order to Mr. Wise to construct a balloon, as his estimate was $100 or $200 less than mine, but that it was possible I might be employed to operate the balloon after it was made. To the latter part of his remarks I replied that I would not be willing to expose my life and reputation by using so delicate a machine, where the utmost care in construction was required, which should be made by a person in whom I had no confidence. I assured him that I had greater experience in this business than any other aeronaut, and that I would guarantee the success of the enterprise if instructed entirely to my directions.

Feeling confident of the ultimate result, and not being willing to abandon my cherished plans for the benefit of the Government after so much expenditure of time and my own means, I instituted a series of experiments, on my own account, in the Smithsonian grounds, which brought together many officers and scientific men, who strongly recommended the adoption of my systemho witnessed these experiments was Captain Whipple, who, finding that the balloon ordered from Mr. Wise had not arrived at the time promised, desired me to transport my balloon, then inflated, with the army which was moving toward Manassas. My operations at this time are described in the following communication addressed to Major Bache, of the Topographical Engineers, to which I would call particular attention:

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 29, 1861.

Major BACHE,

Bureau Topographical Engineers:

SIR: Having spent two months in Washington for the purpose of demonstrating the utility balloon observations for war purposes, and thus far without any re-compense, I feel it my duty before retiring from the seat of war to make a statement of what I have done and what might and can be accomplished, provided the Government would furnish the necessary means, which at most is very small compared with the results that can be attained.

In the first place, the balloon which I have been compelled to use (for want of a more suitable one) was intended for making free voyages, in which comparatively but little strength is required, and not for the purpose of ascertain with ropes. On the 18th of June I inflated the balloon, and, with a telegraph apparatus attached, ascended with three persons and demonstrated the feasibility of communicating with the earth, which at times can be rendered very useful. This inflation lasted four days, although subjected to the pressure of several very heavy winds. Two days afterward the balloon was again inflated and transferred fourteen miles from the place of filling, and retained its charge for several days, during which time it was let up repeatedly, and on one occasion 1,000 feet with an officer, who sketched a map of roads and of the enemy's camps at Fairfax Court-House. Much greater results could have been obtained by making a free voyage at an altitude of a mile or two and returning in the upper current toward Washington. I then gave it another coat of varnish, which much increased its retentive power, and demonstrated the utility of the balloon for the purpose of reconnaissance to a number of gentlemen of this city on the Smithsonian grounds. After this I suddenly required by Captain Whipple to fill my balloon and transport it into the interior of Virginia. Although this balloon was not intended for war purposes, and although I had cherished the hope of being directed to construct another, I concluded to do the best I could, and accordingly set about making the necessary preparations for the voyage; but when these were completed and I was ready to start, I was unable, on account of the absence of Captain Whipple, to procure the men and means for the inflation and transportation. Not being able to obtain assistance from Captain Whipple, who was then on duty, I concluded, on the advice of my friends, to inflate the balloon and procure men for its transportation on my own account, not doubting that my services would be properly appreciated; but to my disappointment I was informed by the director of the gas company that another balloon had arrived and was to be used instead of mine. On the receipt of this intelligence I removed my balloon from the inflating pipes,