War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0283 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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JUNE 1, 1862.

At 11 o"clock could see what I understood was General Sumner's corps near the line of railroad, but not more than two miles from the Chickahominy. The wagons I saw were moving toward James River. They had not reached the road to Richmond.

I cannot see the gun-boats, but can see heavy smoke arising from the valley at two points and hear reports from cannon. The enemy's reserves seem to be stationed at present in all the roads.

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief Aeronaut.

The following were answers to questions asked by General Porter:

JUNE 1, 1862-3 p.m.

Brigadier General F. J. PORTER:

The enemy remains quiet opposite New Bridge. There are infantry and a battery of artillery near the river, where our left column is preparing to cross. The wind is now too high to get a view opposite Mechanicsville, and I am not in immediate communication with the balloon there. By the appearance of the smoke when up I would say that we hold our ground, and more too. The Chickahominy is fast rising; in front of this point the whole fields resemble a lake.

The enemy's wagons also seem to be stationary opposite here.

Very respectfully,

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief Aeronaut.

BALLOON IN AIR, June 1, 1862-6.30 p.m.

R. B. MARCY,

Chief of Staff:

Last firing is two miles nearer Richmond than this morning. Camp-fires around Richmond as usual, showing that the enemy are back. General Humphreys and staff are now up, and will endeavor to ascertain fully and answer al your questions.

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief Aeronaut.

JUNE 1, 1862-7 p.m.

Brigadier-General MARCY,

Chief of Staff:

General Humphreys and self have just descended. The enemy is still in the field opposite here, and their works are visible all along the Williamsburg and New Bridge roads to Richmond. Their barracks, which were this morning deserted, are now occupied. I can see no wagons moving in any direction. Brigadier-General Humphreys will give you a full account of the last observation. I will ascend again at daybreak to-morrow.

Your very obedient servant,

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief Aeronaut.

BALLOON CAMP, NEAR MECHANICSVILLE,

Sunday Morning, June 1, 1862-8.20 a.m.

Large force in front of New Bridge. Do not think there is a very large force in front of Mechanicsville. The rebels have struck their tents in front of the above-named place (Mechanicsville).

10.45 a.m.-The rebels are moving a brigade out of Richmond in the direction of New Bridge.

11.10 a.m.-The brigade that I saw moving out of Richmond at 10.45 a.m. seems to be a very large one. They are followed by a train, consisting of twenty-four wagons, and have just entered the woods, which carries them out of my sight. Think they are going in the direction of New Bridge.

The troops that were in front of New Bridge have fallen back under cover of the woods.

(The above are copies of Major Webb's dispatches to General Marcy, as far as I can remember.) Major Webb was up in the balloon from 8 a.m. till 11.20 a.m.

JAMES ALLEN,

Assistant Aeronaut.