29 May–1 June 1862

Thaddeus Lowe ascends in the balloon Intrepid during the Battle of Seven Pines, 1 June 1863. (Matthew Brady) Library of Congress LC-B811-2348

29 May–1 June 1862: Thaddeus Sobieski Constantine Lowe, commanding the civilian Union Army Balloon Corps, relayed observations of enemy troop movements, both vocally and by telegraph, from the gondola of a hydrogen balloon which was moored on the north side of the Chickahominy River of eastern Virginia during the Battle of Seven Pines, which took place during the American Civil War (1861–1865).

Having been appointed Chief Aeronaut by President Lincoln, Lowe had previously performed aerial reconnaissance at the First Battle of Bull Run, 21 July 1861. He was also present at the battles of Sharpsburg and Fredericksburg.

Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, 1865. (Library of Congress)
Thaddeus Sobieski Constantine Lowe, 1865. (Library of Congress)

© 2018 Bryan R. Swopes

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About Bryan Swopes

Bryan R. Swopes grew up in Southern California in the 1950s–60s, near the center of America's aerospace industry. He has had a life-long interest in aviation and space flight. Bryan is a retired commercial helicopter pilot and flight instructor.

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