Confederate Balloons

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Living History

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Sharing living and oral history

Civil War Aeronautics Videos & YouTube Links:

Man, Moment, Machine: Lincoln and the Flying Spying Machine

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!

Lincoln's Air Force

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.

Mr. Lincoln's Air Force

by Tom Crouch, Senior Curator for Aeronautics, The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Published on Aug 18, 2010

With Lincoln's help, balloonist T.S.C.Lowe was able to create and equip the Balloon Corps, which provided improved reconnaissance for the Union Army from 1861 to 1863. This talk will explore the problems encountered in introducing a conservative military establishment to a new technology and sheds new light on an unfamiliar side of Abraham Lincoln.