“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Fredericksburg in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

War Balloons

War Balloons Marker image. Click for full size.
1. War Balloons Marker
Inscription. During the Civil War, both the Union and Confederate armies performed reconnaissance while suspended from Hot Air Balloons. The Union Army’s use of balloons began in the summer of 1861. After observing civilian balloonist Thaddeus Lowe float in a basket 1500 feet above Washington, D.C., President Lincoln realized the military potential for balloons. He promptly established the Balloon Corps and approved funding for equipment and personnel. On August 28, 1861, the first U.S. military balloon, the “Union,” was ready to enter the war.

May 1, 1863 at 9:15 AM
“Heavy columns of Infantry/Artillery moving upriver opposite Falmouth accompanied by wagons.”

May 2, 1863 at 6:15 AM
“The enemy are advancing in large numbers to attack our Army on the right of Fredericksburg.”

May 4, 1863 at 6:50 PM
“The enemy are engaged in full force and driving our force badly.”

May 4 and 5, 1863 at 7:30 PM
“The enemy have driven our left with a large force and have possession of the river opposite Falmouth.”

Balloonists Thaddeus Lowe as quoted, May – May 5, 1863, in providing Major Generals Joe Hooker and John Sedgwick with strategic information during the Union Army’s engagement at the Battle of Chancellorsville.
War Balloons image. Click for full size.
2. War Balloons
38° 20.176′ N, 77° 31.127′ W. Marker is near Fredericksburg, Virginia, in Stafford County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Celebrate Virginia Parkway and Bolivar Point Lane. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22406, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mud March (here, next to this marker); George Washington: Statesman and Public Servant (approx. 1.6 miles away); George Washington: Surveyor and Family Man (approx. 1.6 miles away); George Washington: Soldier and Virginia Planter (approx. 1.6 miles away); Historic Kenmore and George Washington's Ferry Farm (approx. 1.6 miles away); Fredericksburg Campaign (approx. 1.7 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps Company 2363 (approx. 1.7 miles away); a different marker also named The Mud March (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
Categories. Air & SpaceWar, US Civil
Chancellorsville Campaign image. Click for full size.
3. Chancellorsville Campaign
War Balloons Marker image. Click for full size.
4. War Balloons Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 25, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 392 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 25, 2013.
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