War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0316 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

May 4, 1863 - 12.20 p. m.

Professor LOWE, &c.:

The commanding general wishes to have one balloon sent to United States Ford, inflated it possible. What answer shall I make to the general?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

In answer to the above dispatch I informed the general that I had but two balloons fit for use, one at Banks" Ford and the other at Fredericksburg, and that I would move whichever one to United States Ford he should direct. As it was necessary to know what movements the enemy were making in their rear, and the two places mentioned being the best for observations for that purpose, the general returned the following order:

UNITED STATES FORD,

May 4, 1863.

General WILLIAMS:

Leave the balloons for the present where they are - Fredericksburg and Banks" Ford.

J. HOOKER,

Major-General.

MAY 4, 1863 - 12 M.

Generals SEDGWICK and BUTTERFIELD:

The enemy that entered the earth-works in the rear of Fredericksburg still remains. They also have considerable infantry and some wagons with their artillery on the heights to the left of Hazel Run. A portion of General Sedgwick's command occupies a position to the right commanding the enemy. I should estimate the enemy to be now in sight at least 15,000 strong.

T. S. C. LOWE.

6.15 P. M.

General HOOKER and SEDGWICK:

The enemy are advancing in large force to attack our forces on the right of Fredericksburg.

6.50 P. M.

The enemy are engaged in full force and driving our forces badly.

MAY 4, 1863 - 7.30 A. M.

The enemy have driven our left with a large force and have possession of the river opposite Falmouth.

T. S. C. LOWE.

MAY 5, 1863 - 10.45 A. M.

Major-General BUTTERFIELD,

Chief of Staff:

I am unable at this time to see any movements of the enemy except some wagons moving up and some down the river. The enemy in force appear to hold all the ground they gained yesterday.

T. S. C. LOWE.

CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., May 7, 1863.

Captain C. B. COMSTOCK,

Chief Engineer, Army of the Potomac:

CAPTAIN: The heavy storm of the 5th and 6th instant caused the loss of the entire gas from one balloon, partially from the other; also destroyed ten carboys of acid and four barrels of iron trimmings.

I wold therefore respectfully recommend that 100 carboys of acid and twenty barrels of iron be at once ordered by telegraph.

I remain, very respectfully, &c.

T. S. C. LOWE,

Chief of Aeronautics, Army of the Potomac.

Shortly after sending the above to Captain Comstock I called on him personally, relative to putting in order several balloons which