Yorktown in York County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Civil War Hot-Air Balloons
The Union and Confederate balloons were natural targets for artillery and small arms fire, but neither side scored a direct hit. The gunfire, however, caused uneasiness as Confederate aeronaut John Randolph Bryan noted: “For some minutes shells and bullets from the shrapnel whistled and sang around me with a most unpleasant music, but my balloon and I escaped.” Furthermore, Bryan and General Porter had accidental free-flight experiences when their tethered ropes broke and both narrowly escaped serious injury or capture. Neither side adequately supported balloon operations, but this was an important technological development that foreshadowed the rise of air power in the twentieth century.
Erected 2010 by York County.
Location. 37° 14.222′ N, 76° 30.407′ W. Marker is in Yorktown Touch for map. Located along Yorktown's Riverwalk. Marker is in this post office area: Yorktown VA 23690, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Steamboats on York River (here, next to this marker); Yorktown's Stormy Past (within shouting distance of this marker); TransAmerica Bike Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); USS Yorktown (within shouting distance of this marker); Seat of the County of York (within shouting distance of this marker); Great Fire of 1814 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tobacco Inspection (about 400 feet away); Yorktown Waterfront (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yorktown.
More about this marker. Photo courtesy of Library of Congress.
Categories. • Air & Space • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 21, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 309 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 21, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.