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The Civil War Balloon Corps
Sharing living and oral history
May 31st, 1862: President Abraham Lincoln is pressing for a swift end to the Civil War. As his army bears down on the confederate capitol, Lincoln has a radical new machine above the battle--a hydrogen filled spy balloon, equipped with a telegraph that can instantly report on enemy troop movements. As the Union army comes under intense rebel fire, commanders on the ground use the information from the reconnaissance balloon to turn the tide against the Confederates. Civil War Balloon Corps member Kevin Knapp takes host Hunter Ellis aloft in a hot air balloon!
by The Smithsonian Channel Published on Aug 21, 2013
In 1860, aeronaut Thaddeus Lowe met with President Lincoln to discuss the possibility of using gas-filled balloons for military reconnaissance.
by Tom Crouch, Senior Curator for Aeronautics, The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Published on Aug 18, 2010