War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0312 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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as they are opposite Franklin's Crossing, while opposite United States Ford there appears to be only one camp. I cannot yet see to Bowling Green, owing to the low clouds. The enemy's smokes are more numerous than usual in the rear of the heights opposite Franklin's Crossing below Fredericksburg.

T. S. C. LOWE,

Aeronaut.

BANKS" FORD, April 30, 1863 - 1.30 p. m.

Major General BUTTERFIELD, &c.:

The enemy opposite this ford occupy three positions from a half to one mile from the river, also opposite what I take to be United States Ford. About five miles up there is a small force. To the left of Banks" ford, commanding the road, the enemy have a battery in position. It is hard to estimate their force, for they are partially concealed in the pine woods, but they are certainly not near as strong as below Fredericksburg.

Respectfully, &c.,

T. S. C. LOWE.

4.45 P. M.

The enemy opposite this place main the same as last reported. Numerous camp smokes are now arising from the woods, about ten or twelve miles in a southwest by westerly direction.

T. S. C. LOWE.

HEADQUARTERS AERONAUTIC CORPS,

Camp near Falmouth, April 30, 1863 - 8.30 p. m.

Major-General BUTTERFIELD,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: After my report at 4.45 this p. m. I came down to General Sedqwick's headquarters and ascended at 7 o"clock, remaining up until after dark in order to see the location of the enemy's camp-fires. I find them most numerous in a ravine about one mile beyond the heights opposite General Sedqwick's forces, extending from opposite the lower crossing to a little above the upper crossing. There are also many additional fires in the rear of Fredericksburg. From appearances I should judge that full three-fourths of the enemy's force is immediately back and below Fredericksburg.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief of Aeronautics, Army of the Potomac.

This last report was of much importance, as it gave the commanding general correct information as to the position of the enemy, and he was enabled to regulate his operations at Banks" and United States Fords accordingly. I was confident that the enemy had brought up reserves from Bowling Green and the Junction, nd this induced me to hasten to Franklin's Crossing to take an observation there the same evening, although I was considerably exhausted from having been up all the previous day and night. I also concluded from General Hooker's movements that the enemy would learn them, and probably move up the river the next morning. I accordingly sent the following order to an assistant in charge of the balloon at Banks" Ford, and to this and the reports I made on the following morning I would call attention.

APRIL 30, 1863.

Mr. E. S. ALLEN,

In Charge of Balloon Eagle, Banks" Ford:

Commence observations at daylight to-morrow morning, and look out for the enemy moving on the roads, either up or down, and report by telegraph, having your dispatch sent to General Hooker at United States Ford, and to General Sedgwick, Franklin's Crossing. Be sure of the correctness of your reports, and report promptly.

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief of Aeronautics, Army of the Potomac.

The following eight dispatches were of the greatest importance, and especially when it is considered that all of these movements were out