War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0290 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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BALLOON CAMP,

Near Doctor Gaines", June 19, 1862-5.30 a.m.

Brigadier-General MARCY,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I ascended at 4.30 o"clock this a.m. and remained up until after 5 o"clock, when the enemy's smokes became so numerous on our left that small objects, earth-works, &c., could no longer be defined. The enemy still have artillery near James Garnett's house, and their pickets on the side of the field toward Fair Oaks extend along the edge of the field near the woods.

The enemy appears not to be half so numerous on our right, and at this hour there are no movements of troops or wagons (save a few scattering ones) upon any of the visible roads.

T. S. C. LOWE.

P. S.-Preparations are going on to inflate a balloon near headquarters, which I hope to have ready to-day.

LOWE.

The principal observations being taken near headquarters, verbal reports were generally made, and I have no copies of any from the 19th to the 27th of June.

On the 26th I reported verbally to General Humphreys that the enemy had crossed the Chickahominy in large force, and was engaging our right wing at Mechanicsville. At daybreak next morning I received the following order:

FRIDAY, June 27, 1862.

Professor LOWE:

DEAR SIR: Ascensions must be made throughout the day, if practicable, at short intervals and reports made of what is seen.

A. A. HUMPHREYS.

JUNE 27, 1862-8.15 a.m.

The heaviest cannonading at this time is near where the last headquarters were, between Doctor Gaines" house and Mechanicsville. We have large reserves across the river; our forces are in line of battle. On our left the enemy appear to be in large force in and about their entrenchments on this side of the river in the vicinity of Doctor Friend's, and on this side very large.

The dense smoke prevents me from seeing to Richmond. I am very unwell, and think it advisable for some good person to be constantly up.

Respectfully,

T. S. C. LOWE.

JUNE 27, 1862-9.20 a.m.

Brigadier-General HUMPHREYS, or

General MARCY,

Chief of Staff:

Although I reported myself ill on this occasion I will remain constantly in the balloon, and if you will send me two orderlies I will keep headquarters constantly informed of what can be seen from the balloon. My assistants that you speak of are trying to save the property in their charge. In an exact north direction from here, and about two miles and a half from the river, in an open field, there are large bodies of troops, but I should judge they were too far down on our right to be the enemy. On a hill this side of Doctor Gaines" house there is a long line of skirmishers stationary. On the field near where General Morell was camped everything is on fire.

About four miles to the west from here the enemy have a balloon about 300 feet in the air. By appearances I should judge that the enemy might make an attack on our left at any moment. We are firing occasional shots on our left.

T. S. C. LOWE.

JUNE 27, 1862-11 a.m.

Brigadier-General HUMPHREYS, or

General MARCY,

Chief of Staff:

There is no firing on either side at this time. In a northerly direction, and about three or four miles from Woodbury's Bridge, there is a long line of dust