Civil War BallooningBy Internet Scout Report
Few people realize that President Abraham Lincoln convened an air force during the civil war. In fact, the 16th president of the United States authorized a small Union Army balloon corps which made thousands of reconnaissance flights in 1862 and 1863, making them the first aerial spies in U.S. history.
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum website has all the details.
Readers might like to start by reading the short introductory article and perusing the historical photographs. There is also a short video outlining the career of balloonist Thaddeus Lowe, who spearheaded the efforts, an interesting blog about Civil War ballooning, and an interactive online conference about Mr. Lincoln’s Air Force.
From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2015. https://www.scout.wisc.edu