War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0261 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

The following papers will indicate my operations to the 27th of September:


Fort Corcoran, Va., September 7, 1861.

Professor LOWE:

SIR: General Porter desires you to make a reconnaissance in your balloon as early as possible to-morrow morning. Be kind enough to send the result of your observation to General Porter, whether you discover anything of interest or not.

Very respectfully,


BALLOON HEADQUARTERS, September 8, 1861.

Brigadier-General PORTER,

Commanding Division, Fort Corcoran:

DEAR SIR: According to your request I made two reconnaissances with the balloon this morning. The first a little after 4 o"clock. At that time no lights were visible in the west. At 5 o"clock one light to the right of Munson's Hill and one at Taylor's Corners appeared, which were all that could be seen. I ascended again at 6 o"clock and had a clear view of the works on Munson's Hill, also Upton's, but observed nothing unusual, the strong wind preventing me from attaining an altitude to observe with distinctness anything beyond these points. I will ascend again during the day and report to you.

Your obedient servant,

T. S. C. LOWE,



Fort Corcoran, Va., September 9, 1861.

Professor LOWE,

Fort Corcoran:

PROFESSOR: General McClellan desires you to transfer you balloon to the Chain Bridge early to-morrow to take observation. I have informed him you will inflate as early as practicable and move up to Chain Bridge. I am desirous to see your prosper, and I think you are now on the road. I have recommended an increase of two balloons and movable inflating apparatus, and as soon as the utility of the science is made apparent (which will depend on your energy) I have no doubt of success. Strike now while the iron is hot. I suggested your balloon should be sent up to Chain Bridge or its vicinity, and I doubt not General McClellan will be there, or others, who will work for you if they are satisfied of its utility. General Smith is in command, and I promise a good reception for you.

If I can aid you in any manner, don"t hesitate to call. I will be pleased to see you before you go over in the morning, and the result of your morning observation, which I beg of you to take.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,


BALLOON HEADQUARTERS, September 9-2.30 p.m.

General PORTER:

I have just concluded another observation with the balloon and had a distinct view of Falls Church.

In answer to your inquiry, I can say that there is no appearance of the enemy in or about Falls Church other than has been reported before. Munson's Hill and other places remain the same.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. S. C. LOWE.

FORT CORCORAN, September 11, 1861.

Professor LOWE:

I have nothing special. As your balloon is near Chain Bridge, I suggest you ask General Smith if he has anything. I presume if you can rise in the morning he would like it. You are of value now.