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Letter written July 25, 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln regarding a proposal to use Thaddeus S. C. Lowe's balloons for observation of enemy positions during the Civil War. Text reads: "Will Lieut Gen. Scott please see Professor Lowe once more about…

Balloon Enterprise

June 16 1861

This point of observation commands an area near fifty miles in diameter-- The city with its girdle of encampments presents a superb scene-- I have pleasure in sending you this first dispatch ever telegraphed from…

Thaddeus Lowe prepares one of his war balloons for ascension while members of his "balloon camp" gather around.

Thaddeus Lowe utilizes his balloon "Constitution" to inflate his other war balloon, "Intrepid."

Thaddeus Lowe observes a battle from his balloon "Intrepid" while tethered by Union troops.

Prof. Thaddeus Lowe's "Balloon Camp" at Gaines Mill, Va., May 1862: balloon in backgrd. across field; horsemen in foreground.

Professor Thaddeus Lowe standing with his horse in front of a Union encampment.

Photographs from the grand re-opening of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, after a two-year, $2 million transformation of the 116-year-old edifice. Most of the renovation was done in the interior of the monument, with new lighting to illuminate…

Contemporary picture of Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina.