Secretary may judge of my conduct under very embarrassing circumstances:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
April 12, 1863.
Mr. T. S. C. LOWE, &c.:
As i informed you yesterday, I do not think the interests of the public service require the employment of C. Lowe, your father, or of John O"Donnell. Please esired, notified them of the fact.
I also stated to you that it might be necessary for the public interest to reduce your pay from $10 to $6 per day. I also mentioned some general rules to be observed ball civil employes connected with the balloons. Some of them are repeated here, and you will please notify your subordinates of them: No absences from duty without my permission will be allowed, and pay will be stopped of the time of absence.
In camp, when the wind is still, ascensions should be made at morning, noon, and night, the labor being equably divided among the aeronauts, and reports made to me in writing of all that is observed during the day. If anything important was observed it should be reported at once. These reports should give the bearings of the important camps observed, and the camps should be numbered from right to left, Numbers 1 being on the right. You, as having larger experience, are expected to make these ascensions frequently, and to be responsible that no camp disappears and no new one appears without its being reported at once. You will also be held responsible that the apparatus is kept in good order; that the aeronauts attend to their duty; that the necessary requisitions are sent in for supplies, and generally for the efficiency and usefulness of the establishment, as well as its economical management.
C. B. COMSTOCK
Captain of Engineers and Chief Engineer Army of the Potomac.
I asked you yesterday for an inventory of all public property under your charge. Please send it to me to-morrow.
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., April 12, 1863.
Major General D. BUTTERFIELD,
Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: From a copy of Special Orders, Numbers 95, April 7, 1863, I am informed that the balloon establishment is placed in charge of Captain C. B. Comstock, Corps of Engineers, to whom I reported immediately on receipt of the above order. In conversation with him yesterday I learned that different arrangements were to be made, and among other things he informed me that my compensation for services were reduced from $10 per day to $6. This Captain comstock does, I have no doubt, in good faith, and from the view which he takes of this department as it now stands.
Now, in justice to myself and the service in which I am engaged, I beg to submit the following succinct statement:
At the breaking out of the rebellion I was urged to offer my services to the Government as an aeronaut. I did so, at the sacrifice of my long-cherished enterprise in which I had expended large sums of money and many years hard labor, and which, if successful, would compensate me for my expenditure and place aeronautics among the first branches of useful science.
(The enterprise above alluded to could not now be revived, except under the most favorable circumstances.)
During my first operations for the Government I had three competitors in the field and many more applicants. I used my own machinery and expended considerable private means, and two months" labor, for all of which I have never received pay.
My system of aeronautics was selected, and I was offered $30 per day for each day I would keep one balloon inflated in the field ready for officers to ascend. (This was when it was supposed balloons could not be kept constantly inflated, as is now the case.) I declined this offer and offered my services for $10 per day, as I desired to continue during the war and add to my reputation; besides, that amount would be sufficient to support my family. Ever since then I have labored incessantly for the interest of the Government, and I have never shrunk from duty or danger whenever it was necessary to gain information for the commanding general.