Learning Lincoln On-line

FROM-- SET FIVE, CIVIL WAR STUDIES

(Topic Twenty-eight: Civil War Technologies  &  Thirty-seven:  Civil War Technologies, Part Two)

1
Those Great Civil War Battlefield Technologies, Weapons and Firsts
2

President Lincoln, as we know was very appreciative of new inventions and encouraged new weapons.  These inventions would be the beginning of our modern day weaponry and machines of war.  

THE CIVIL WAR:  THE FIRST MODERN WAR

THE TECHNOLOGY AND THE PEOPLE WHO STARTED IT ALL


 

AIR BALLOONS AND THE TELEGRAPH

Click Here for Part One

GO TO THE BATTLEFIELDS HOME PAGE

PART TWO is a different battle rail junction near Manassas.  You will read telegraph messages as well as messages written by the President, as to what to do.  Read all documents, and then answer the set of questions.

THE TELEGRAPH AND THE BATTLE OF MANASSAS

BATTLE OF MANASSAS USE OF TELEGRAPH AND THE HOT AIR BALLOON

INTRODUCTION

       This telegraph message was sent from a hot air balloon doing reconnaissance over Confederate forces moving on the ground.  The balloons were elevated high enough that they were relatively safe from ground fire.  They provided excellent information on troop movements and position.  The problem was that the European-Napoleonic style Union generals (and Rebel Generals) were reluctant and actually against such "new" ideas encroaching on their old-time methods.  The Civil War is considered the first modern war, and use of the telegraph and the hot air balloon was established for future use.


       Although exchanged on the same day, these telegrams between Union balloonist T.S.C. Lowe and Brig. Gen. Fitz-John Porter were transcribed on different company mastheads, suggesting that the new American Telegraph Company would sometimes still use its predecessor's telegraph paper. General Porter was a supporter of balloons for reconnaissance, and this exchange took place at Halls Hill, Virginia, between the first and second Battles of Manassas. 

Not all generals appreciated the use of the telegraph or the hot air balloon, and the ballon-air-ship would not be used a lot in battle.  The telegraph, on the other hand, would become a necessary tool.  Not all generals appreciated the use of the telegraph or the hot air balloon, and the ballon-air-ship would not be used a lot in battle.  The telegraph, on the other hand, would become a necessary tool.  President Lincoln would be the first president to use the telegraph in "T-mails," much like modern-day email messaging. 

President Lincoln would be the first president to use the telegraph in "T-mails," much like modern-day email messaging.  He would actually take charge with this "instant messaging," to generals and others on the battlefield.

THE FIRST MESSAGE FROM A HOT AIR BALLOON TO PRESIDENT LINCOLN:
 
Balloon Enterprise
Washington, D. C. 16 June 1861
To President United States:
This point of observation commands an area nearly 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 an aerial station and in acknowledging indebtedness to your encouragement for the opportunity of demonstrating the availability of the science of aeronautics in the service of the country. T.S.C. Lowe

CHIEF RESOURCES

BALLOONS IN THE CIVIL WAR

Lincoln's Flying Spies: Thaddeus Lowe and the Civil War Balloon Corps

Civil War Hot Air Balloon Corps

How Civil War Hot Air Balloons Work

Civil War Hot Air Activity Sheet


16th President Topics Index

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