War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0305 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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In reply the Secretary directs me to instruct you to have all necessary preparations completed as soon as possible. You will advise this Department of the weight and bulk of the apparatus and supplies, and also when and from what point the aeronaut you recommend will be ready to start.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Secretary of War.

CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., April 19, 1863.

Respectfully refereed to General S. Williams, assistant adjutant-general.

The within has been complied with, and Mrs. James Allen named as the person that could be spared, inasmuch as I have another person to take his place here, and he would be best suited for another point.

In my judgment the above arrangement will not in the least interfere with the successful operations of the balloons in this army. Therefore I would respectfully recommend that Mr. Allen be ordered to report for the above duty at once.

Very respectfully,

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief of Aeronautics, Army of the Potomac.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

April 19, 1863.

The accompanying communication is respectfully returned to Professor Lowe, to be forwarded through Captain Comstock, engineer, who is in charge of the balloon department. The commanding general desires to be informed why the letter to the Secretary of War, to which the answer is in reply, was not transmitted through headquarters.

By command of Major-General Hooker:

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, April 20, 1863.

Captain C. B. COMSTOCK,

Chief of Engineers, Army of the Potomac:

CAPTAIN: According to your directions, I referred the inclosed letter from the Assistant Secretary of War to General Williams, who has returned it with the accompanying note.

In answer to the commanding general. why my letter to the Assistant Secretary of War was not transmitted through headquarters, I would respectfully state that I was not are that it was customary to do so, and if in my zeal to render service to the Government I have overstepped the bounds prescribed by military law I can only say that it was unintentional.

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief of Aeronautics, Army of the Potomac.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

April 20, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded, and indorsement of T. S. C. Lowe not approved.

C. B. COMSTOCK,

Captain of Engineers and Chef Engineer Army of the Potomac.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

April 20, 1863.

On the 19th instant Mr. T. S. C. Lowe, aeronaut, informed me that he had been directed by the Honorable Secretary of War to send a balloon and aeronaut to Charleston, and that he had selected Mr. J. Allen. At my request he showed me the accompanying letter from the Assistant Secretary of War.

I informed him that such orders should come to me from the adjutant-general of this army, and not form himself; that he, not being in charge of the balloon establishment, had not the power to change it; and that I did not think it consistent with the interests of this army to detach Mr. J. Allen from it at present. A balloon can be spared without detriment.

Respectfully forwarded to adjutant-general, Army of the Potomac.

C. B. COMSTOCK,.

Captain of Engineers and Chief Engineer Army of the Potomac.

20 R R - SERIES III, VOL III