War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0301 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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pare fairly the relative advantages of the two upon precisely the same grounds that I was allowed to try my first experiments, namely, with his own balloon and apparatus and at his own expense.

In conclusion, I would beg to state that the knowledge I have acquired in the aeronautic art has cost me much means and expense and many years of hard labor; therefore I would most respectfully ask that this report will not be furnished to Mr. Englend or his associates, as i desire not to instruct any persons except in the U. S. service.

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

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief of Aeronautics, Army of the Potomac.


Near Falmouth, Va., April 1, 1863.

Prof. T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief of Aeronautics, Army of the Potomac:

SIR: In accordance with your request that I should furnish you with a report of my operations previous to my employment under your direction and my opinion of your system of aeronautics, that you may avail yourself of it in your report to the Secretary of War, I would most respectfully submit the following:

For a number of years previous to the breaking out of this war I followed the professing of an aeronaut, as then practiced by the leaders in that art. At the commencement of the rebellion I was induced by the leaders in that art. At the commencement of the rebellion I was induced by my friends to offer my services to the Government. I did so, and for the purpose of demonstrating what I could do I brought on two balloons in July, 1861. Some experiments were made before an officer of the Topographical Engineers, appointed for that purpose, After witnessing my operations he pronounced them unsatisfactory, although I had, as a general thing, been as successful as other aeronauts had previously been. After ascertaining what was expected of balloons, and under what circumstances they would have to be operated, in order to meet the requirements of those not acquainted with the art, I cam to the conclusion that balloons could not be intithout an entire different arrangement. Not only must decided improvements be made in the balloon and paraphernalia, but the baboon must be inflated at short notice, and at different points in the field, and for that purpose there was no apparatus yet invented. After thus summing up the matter I returned to my home in Providence and subsequently watched with much interest the report of you progress in aeronautics for war purposes, until in the spring of 1862 you invited me to join you corps, since which time I have received much valuable information and instruction from you in the use of your inventions, which now enables me to operate with entire success, and, I believe, satisfactory to you, as I have often had evidence.

In conclusion, I can conscientiously say that the Government is indebted to you alone for the introduction of this useful branch of the public service,and were it not for your improvements in the construction of balloons and invention of portable gas generators, your untiring perseverance, hard labor, and exposure, against great obstacles, aeronauts could never have been of service to our Army.

Balloons, as usually constructed, could not be kept inflated in heavy winds, and at best could not hold their power but a few hours, whereas now the balloons are kept constantly ready to go up, day or night. From their manner of construction and great strength they are able to withstand any storm, nd enables the aeronaut to ascend in nearly all weathers, and are so impervious that they can be kept inflated for months with but little replenishing, and consequently trifling expense. These are qualities heretofore unknown in the history of aeronautics, and are merits that deserve the highest commendation.

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



I cordially concur in the foregoing as regards the superiority of Professor Lowe's system of aeronautics over former attempts. I have been engaged in ballooning for a number od have been emplirection of Professor Lowe for the past five months. I have received much valuable instruction form him in the use of his new system of aeronautics for army purposes, without which balloons cold not be used to any advantage in the field.