War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0295 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

The balloons are constantly in readiness, and observations can be taken at any time when the weather will permit.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief of Aeronautic, Army of the Potomac.

HEADQUARTERS AERONAUTIC DEPARTMENT,

Camp near Falmouth, February 7, 1863.

General BUTTERFIELD,

Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:

SIR: According to your order I have taken advantage of all suitable weather for several days past to reconnoiter the enemy's position from the balloon. Yesterday in the afternoon the atmosphere was very clear, and from observations taken then and again to-day the various positions of the enemy could be determined by their camps and smokes. The line of hills opposite Fredericksburg and above and below the city appear to be occupied by a small force divided into small squads, while the heaviest camp appears to be at or near Bowling Green.

Still farther beyond, say twenty-five miles from Fredericksburg, are heavy camp smokes, which I should judge was at the junction of the Virginia Central and Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroads. Off to the right of the city, about ten or twelve miles, and some distance back from the river, are quite large camp smokes (I should think that this camp was at Spotsylvania Court-House), while in a direct line from these and near the river appears to be a camp of much smaller size.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief of Aeronautic, Army of the Potomac.

FEBRUARY 7, 1863.

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief Aeronaut, &c.:

Your interesting report just received. What do you consider a large camp as mentioned in your report, and what a small one? About how many men?

Keep your balloon up all you can, and confine the knowledge gained to your reports to these headquarters.

Should like to have you locate camps on maps which General Warren will furnish you for the purpose.

DANL. BUTTERFIELD,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS AERONAUTIC DEPARTMENT,

February 23, 1863.

Major-General BUTTERFIELD,

Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:

SIR: I ascended with the balloon this p.m., but was unable to discover any change in the position of the enemy as far as I could see.

To the south and southeast the atmosphere was too smoky to enable me to see anything in relation to their camp. I will ascend again as soon as the atmosphere becomes clear and furnish you with a fuller report.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief of Aeronautic, Army of the Potomac.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

February 24, 1863.

Professor LOWE:

SIR: The balloon ascension to be made between daylight and sunrise to-morrow a.m. should be made with a view to giving us most careful and accurate information as to the number of the enemy and their camps. Rumors that a large portion of their force had gone make it very desirable. You may be able to gain much credit for your branch of science by the care and accuracy and promptness of your report. Can"t you take Lieutenant Comstock up with you?

Yours.

DANL. BUTTERFIELD,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.