War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0299 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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BALLOON CAMP,

Near Falmouth, Va., March 22, 1863.

Professor LOWE:

SIR: Lieutenant Comstock went up to-day in the Washington. It was very calm, and I let the balloon ascend to an elevation of 2,000 feet, where he remained one hour and a half in full view of the enemy's camps and works for twenty miles distant. The balloon was then towed, at an elevation of 1,000 feet, three miles on our left, with him in the car of the balloon. He expressed himself gratified with the knowledge thus obtained.

Respectfully,

JAMES ALLEN,

Aeronaut, in Charge of Balloon Washington.

BALLOON CAMP,

Near Phillips" House, March 26, 1863.

Prof. T. S. C. LOWE:

SIR: Made an ascension this 12 m. The largest camps of the enemy that could be seen were south and southwest from Fredericksburg. One very extensive camp about eight miles south from the city. I also discovered what I judge to be earth-works (new) from four to six miles west of the city. If earth-works, they are extensive. Could discover nothing of note up the river.

Yours, respectfully,

E. S. ALLEN,

Aeronaut.

MARCH 27, 1863.

Honorable B. F. WADE,

Chairman of Committee on Conduct of the War:

SIR: Please find accompanying this note fifty-one reports of observation taken by me from the balloons during the latter part of May and the month of June, 1862, and forwarded to headquarters Army of the Potomac. They numbers but a small portion of the observation taken, but are all of the copies that I can now readily reach. It will be found that some few of these reports are without date, which is accounted for from the fact that they were sometimes written while in the balloon car and sent down to be copied and forwarded, and the persons who did this neglected to place dates upon the copies retained, as they were not considered of further value.

I remain, with great respect, your most obedient servant,

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief of Aeronautics.

BALLOON CAMP,

Near Falmouth, Va., March 27, 1863.

Professor LOWE:

SIR: To-day the balloon Washington was taken six miles to the left, and Lieutenant Comstock, Colonel Upton, and Major

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, ascended separately, all of whom spoke in the highest terms of the advantage of this movable observatory, after which she was taken to her moorings.

Respectfully,

JAMES ALLEN,

Aeronaut, in Charge of Balloon Washington.

HDQRS. AERONAUTIC DEPARTMENT, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

March 30, 1863.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I herewith respectfully report myself returned for duty to the Army of the Potomac, having been relieved for the present from the duties for which I was ordered to report there on the 23rd instant.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief of Aeronautics, Army of the Potomac.

The following report contains many interesting facts concerning the system of aeronautics now employed and others proposed, to which I