War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0296 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

February 27, 1863.

Professor LOWE,

Balloon Corps:

SIR: I am requested by Major-General Butterfield to direct that you place a balloon at the disposal of Lieutenant Comstock, chief engineer.

Very respectfully,

WM. L. CANDLER,

Captain and Aide-de-Camp.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Camp near Falmouth, Va., March 1, 1863.

COMMANDING OFFICER SIXTH CORPS:

SIR: The commanding general directs that upon the application of Professor Lowe, balloonist, you furnish him with a detail of one officer, one sergeant, and thirty-five men to assist him in making an ascension near White Oak Church.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

March 12, 1863.

Professor LOWE,

Chief of Balloon Corps:

PROFESSOR: The commanding general directs that you make frequent ascensions during the day, moving your balloon from right to left near the river. He desires that you make very close observations of the enemy, noticing any movements or work going on or changes made. Watch and note very carefully the fords and all along the river bank. Report promptly anything you may see.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS AERONAUTIC CORPS,

March 12, 1863.

Major-General BUTTERFIELD,

Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have just received an order from the general-in-chief, through General Williams, directing me to make frequent ascensions, &c., which I have made preparation to do at very favorable moment.

I ascended early this morning from a point near Falmouth, but was unable to discover any movements of the enemy on the roads or near any of the visible fords. All the camps around Fredericksburg remain quiet as usual.

At about 8 o"clock I discerned working parties throwing up earth a short distance to the right of the city on the low land; also in the woods on the first ridge. I then moved the balloon some three miles up the river, where I can get a fine view as soon as the high wind now prevailing ceases.

I have just received a report from one of my assistants, who ascended with the balloon down river at 6 o"clock this morning (by my direction). Up to 8 o"clock all was quiet on the left, or as far down as the aeronautic could see, and all the camps remained as usual.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief of Aeronautic, Army of the Potomac.

HEADQUARTERS AERONAUTIC DEPARTMENT,

Near Falmouth, March 13, 1863.

Major-General BUTTERFIELD,

Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: Between 5 and 6.30 o"clock this morning both balloons ascended, one near White Oak Church and the other about three miles up the river. No movement of the enemy was visible at that time, but all appeared to be quietly in camp, as the smoke ascended from them all. The camp smokes at Bowling Green were distinctly seen, as also one near Scott's Dam, on Golin Run, of considerable size. There is also a camp and quite a number of tents opposite Taylor's Dam. The enemy are still throwing up earth a short distance to the right of Fredericksburg with embrasures for field pieces.