Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and White; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Event; Group, candid; Medium: Photographic print
May 31, 1862
Civil War, 1861-1865
Historic Images of the Smithsonian
Note that this is a composite image, consisting of the May 31, 1862, stereo view photograph showing people on the ground and the basket of the balloon, with the balloon labeled "Intrepid" drawn in above the original image.
Image of Thaddeus Lowe's balloon test of the "Intrepid" at the battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia, during the Peninsular Campaign, May-August 1862. Lowe's balloon was used for reconnaissance for the Union Army during the Civil War. Using a telegraph the driver could send a message about Confederate camps and troop movements to soldiers below who then gave the information to Union generals. The test was supported by Smithsonian Institution Secretary Joseph Henry, who served as President Abraham Lincoln's scientific advisor during the war.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 54, Folder: 9D