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US Civil War observation balloon. Soldiers are holding the balloon's basket down with ropes. This is the balloon Intrepid, being used by Professor Thaddeus S. C. Lowe (1831-1913) 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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