US Civil War observation balloon

US Civil War observation balloon

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: US Civil War observation balloon. This is the balloon Intrepid, being re-inflated by Professor Thaddeus S. C. Lowe (1831-1913) from the the balloon Constitution. This allowed Lowe to use the balloon to observe the battle at Fair Oaks, Virginia, on 31 May 1861, during the Peninsula Campaign of the US Civil War (1861-1865). Lowe's observations of the Confederate armies helped to save one of the Union armies from defeat. Despite the successes, problems led to Lowe's Balloon Corps being disbanded in 1863.

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