Thursday, March 17, 2011

Union Balloons-- Part 1

From the October 9, 2010, Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) "Fight or flight...or both: Balloon Corps gives Union upper hand during the Civil War" by Paul Post.

Thaddeus Lowe of New Hampshire was tracking Confederate movements from up to a half-mile in the sky. In May 1862, he saved the day for Union forces at Fair Oaks, Virginia.

Back on June 16, 1861, he had demonstrated balloon capability to Lincoln on the White House grounds when he rose to 600 feet where he could see for a 50 mile diameter.

The baskets of the balloons had a telegraph key for communicating with the ground. Lincoln was impressed and sent a letter to General Winfield Scott ordering five balloons: Union, Enterprise, Constitution, Intrepid and Washington.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

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