Tag Archives: Union Balloon Corps

America’s First Air Force: Union Aeronauts and McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign, Part Four – Davis, Lee, and Longstreet Were Standing in a Field

ECW welcomes back guest author Jeff Ballard Read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Serving as an airborne sentry was the first, and perhaps the most obvious role of the balloon on the battlefield and Lowe’s balloons gave McClellan … Continue reading

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America’s First Air Force: Union Aeronauts and McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign, Part Three – Gaines’ Farm Station

ECW welcomes back guest author Jeff Ballard Read Part One and Part Two. The final week of May 1862 denoted the high-water mark of McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign as five corps of the Army of the Potomac partially encircled Richmond. By … Continue reading

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America’s First Air Force: Union Aeronauts and McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign Part Two – A Novel Contraption

ECW welcomes back guest author Jeff Ballard Read Part One. With the bombardment of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, “numerous balloon enthusiasts hurried to Washington D.C. and besieged the War Department with various proposals for achieving victory by use … Continue reading

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America’s First Air Force: Union Aeronauts and McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign Part One – Maker of Water

ECW welcomes guest author Jeff Ballard On the last day of May 1862, Lieutenant E. Walter West, U.S. Army, peered through his field glasses and noted Confederate infantry preparing to attack the Union position straddling the Richmond & York Railroad … Continue reading

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A Virginia Boy

Emerging Civil War welcomes back Doug Crenshaw In June 1862, George McCall’s Division of the Union V Corps was stationed east of Beaver Dam Creek near Mechanicsville, Virginia.  It was there to guard the route to the Pamunkey River supply … Continue reading

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Union Balloon Corps: Part 3

(Part 1 and Part 2 are available for reference.) The Union Balloon Corps received little recognition for its successes, and many in the military Sevens Days Battles considered them nothing more than entertainment. The conclusion of the Seven Days Battles, … Continue reading

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Union Balloon Corps: Part 1

It has been said that the art of spying is as old as war itself. The commanders of yesterday understood, as do our military leaders understand today, that reading and predicting enemy movements is an integral part of battle strategy. … Continue reading

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