Third. During the whole period of my employment I have devoted all my mental and physical energies to secure the success of the enterprise. I have never shrunk form the discharge of my duty however hazardous, and holding no commission, I have often been perplexed and put to inconvenience in doing the business of the aeronautic department, which properly belonged to a commissioned officer, but for want of one acquainted with the business was compelled to do it myself. I have also been at all times exposed to the danger of being treated as a spy had I fallen into the hands of the enemy.
Fourth. For the first large balloon and apparatus brought to Washington and used in the preliminary experiments for the Secretary of War, and afterward at Falls Church, Fort Corcoran, and other places, I have never received compensation, nor for my labor and time, and expense of keeping a party of men employed for making the aforesaid experiments.
Fifth. It must be evident, without attempt at demonstration, that so novel and peculiar an apparatus as a balloon requires the most careful and trust worthy management and the most skilled and experienced observers. Having had more practnd greater experience in this business than any one else, I respectfully submit that the compensation I have asked and received has been small in comparison with the services performed.
Sixth. The plans I have proposed are calculated to be of great value to the Army, and if proper facilities were afforded most important results could be obtained. Instead therefore of any curtailment of the aeronautic department I would most respectfully recommend its being permanently adopted as an arm of the military service, with established positions and regulations for those connected with its management. The persons to be selected for this service should be those tested in the field, and found to be the most reliable and experienced, who can instruct others when required. For want of proper facilities and persons capable for the service I have been unable to propose an extension of the balloon service to all parts of this army.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
T. S. C. LOWE,
P. S. - Since completing this report I have obtained a copy of the Prince de Joinville's narrative of the Peninsular campaign, form which I extract the following:
The shells from the rifled guns flew in all directions with a length of range which had not before been suspected. The accuracy of their fire forced us to abandon all the signal posts we had established in the tops of the tallest trees. The balloon itself, whenever it rose in the air, was saluted with an iron hail of missiles which were, however, perfectly harmless.
Could the Federals meet, with a powerful concentration of troops, that concentration which the enemy had effected, and to the reality of which the observations of our aeronauts, and well as the statements of deserters, daily bore witness?
It had been built by General Sumner, about half-way between Bottom's Bridge and the most advanced point of the Federal lines. It saved that day the whole Federal army form destruction.
NOTE. - I have the best of reasons to believe that Sumner's Bridge was completed a day sooner than it otherwise would have been by my