The Fourth Alabama Painting by Don Troiani

Army of Northeastern Virginia

John Wise, Aeronaunt, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, Balloon Detachment

Aeronaut John Wise, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, Balloon Detachment

United States Corps Topographical Engineers, Balloon Detachment

MAJOR A J MYER, Signal Officer, Army States Army
Major A J Myer, United States Signal Corps, was assigned as aid to Brigadier General D Tyler, Connecticut Volunteers, between 3 and 4 PM on 21 July, 1861, and to Brigadier General I McDowell, United States Army, in the evening the same day.

Aeronaut J WISE
Aeronaut J Wise and his son Charles Wise arrived at Washington, D. C., on 17 July, 1861, and were ordered to join Captain A W Whipple, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, at Centreville, Fairfax County, Virginia, on 19 July, 1861.

ESCORT

26th Pennsylvannia Infantry, Detachment: SGT. E BIRD
A detachment of twenty-two men of the 26th Pennsylvania Infantry, under the command of Sergeant E Bird, was temporarily assigned assigned to tow Aeronaut J Wise's balloon at the Columbian Armory, near Maryland Avenue, Washington, D. C., on 17 July, 1861 (See the 26th Pennsylvania Infantry).

Sources

"Professor Lowe experimented with his army balloon this afternoon from the Columbian armory grounds."

The Baltimore Daily Exchange, 19 June, 1861

"Professor Lowe's balloon was making experimental trips to the upper regions of the air, at the Smithsonian Institution grounds on Saturday."

The Baltimore Daily Exchange, 17 July, 1861 - Balloon experiments

"Wise accordingly inflated his balloon at the Columbian Armory and made preparations for the departure. He was joined by a detail of twenty men picked from Colonel W F Small's 26th Pennsylvania Infantry, who had been assigned to balloon duty by express order of General McDowell on the 17th."

"At two o'clock Sunday morning Major Myer joined the balloon party and took command. The train, with its twenty men from the 26th Pennsylvania under the direction of Sergeant Edward Bird, accompanied by an escort wagon drawn by four horses, took up their line of march from the Columbian Armory and proceeded out Pennsylvania Avenue towards the river."

"A large beech tree overhanging the road beyond a small bridge was hastily felled by the excited pioneers who accompanied the party."

"With the balloon now damaged beyond all possibility of field repairs, and with no gas available even had Wise been able to close the rents in the envelope, Myer placed the train under Wise's command, with instructions to return to Washington, make repairs, and bring the balloon back to the front as soon as possible. Myer then proceeded alone to the front, and reported as a signal officer to McDowell's headquarters."

Aeronautics in the Union and Confererate armies, with a survey of military aeronautics prior to 1861, Volume 1, by F Stabsbury Haydon

Communication addressed to Major H. Bache, of the Topographical Engineers, Washington D. C., 29 July, 1861, by T S C Lowe, Aeronaut

Through the air, by John Wise

Military ballooning during the Early Civil War, with an introduction by Tom D Crouch, by F Stansbury Haydon

Notes

Major A J Myer

Assistant Surgeon A J Myer, United States Medical Corps, was appointed major and signal officer, United States Army, on 27 June, 1860, dated 2 July, 1861, and was ordered to New York City, New York, on 1 June, 1861.

War Department, on Seventeenth Street, Washington, D. C., & Fort Monroe, Old Comfort Point, Hampton, Virginia, 3 & 10 June, 1861: Major A J Myer, Signal Officer, United States Army, was ordered to the War Department, on Seventeenth Street, Washington, D. C., on 3 June, 1861, and to Fort Monroe, Old Comfort Point, Hampton, Virginia, in the afternoon on 10 June, 1861.

Note: Major A J Myer, Signal Officer, United States Army, was ordered to set up a school of signal instruction at Fort Monroe, Old Comfort Point, Hampton, Virginia, on 10 June, 1861.

Special Orders No.34, Headquarters, Department of Virginia, Fort Monroe, Old Comfort Point, Hampton, Virginia, 12 June, 1861: Second Lieutenant W M Maynadier, 1st United States Artillery, Company M; Second Lieutenant E Thomas, 4th United States Artillery, Company D; First Lieutenant J M Quackenbush, 2nd New York Infantry, Company E; Second Lieutenant L F Hepburn, 4th New York Infantry, Company K; Second Lieutenant T S Dumont, 5th New York Infantry, Company B; Private R T Yelverton, 7th New York Infantry, Company C; Second Lieutenant H Ayres, 1st New York Infantry, Company E; First Lieutenant T S Seabury, 3rd New York Infantry, Company G; Second Lieutenant W S Andrews, 9th New York Infantry, Company G, and Sergeant L M Bergen, 10th New York Infantry, Company F, were assigned to Major A J Myer, Signal Officer, United States Army, by Special Orders No.34, Headquarters, Department of Virginia, Fort Monroe, Old Comfort Point, Hampton, Virginia, on 12 June, 1861.

Columbian Armory, near Maryland Avenue, Washington, D. C., 21 July, 1861: Major A J Myer, Signal Officer, United States Army, was assigned to Brigadier General I McDowell, United States Army, by Special Orders No.17, War Department, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D. C., on 20 July, 1861, dated 17 July, 1861, and was assigned to command Aeronaut J Wise's balloon and a detachment of twenty-two men of the 26th Pennsylvania Infantry at the Columbian Armory, near Maryland Avenue, Washington, D. C., in the morning on 21 July, 1861.

Note: Major A J Myer, Signal Officer, United States Army, was stationed at Washington, D. C., on 20 July, 1861.

Washington, D. C., to Henry House Hill, Prince William County, Virginia, 21 July, 1861: Major A J Myer, Signal Officer, United States Army, was ordered to proceed across the Potomac River by the Aquduct Bridge, Georgetown, D. C., at 2 AM on 21 July, 1861, and arrived near Henry House Hill, Prince William County, Virginia, between 3 and 4 PM the same day.

Note: A Signal Camp of Instruction was set up at Red Hill, Georgetown, D. C., by First Lieutenant S T Cushing, Assistant Signal Officer, United States Army, on 30 August, 1861.

James Allen

Aeronaut J Allen and two balloons proceeded by the steamer Empire State to Washington, D. C., at 2.30 PM on 19 April, 1861, and was accompanied by a detachment of the 1st Rhode Island Detached Militia Infantry, under the command of Colonel A E Burnside and Governor W Sprague.

Note: Privates J Allen, 1st Rhode Island Detached Militia Artillery (Providence Marine Corps Artillery), and W H Helme, 1st Rhode Island Detached Militia Infantry, Company C, were assigned as aeronauts to the 1st Rhode Island Detached Militia on 18 April, 1861 (See the 1st Rhode Island Detached Militia Infantry).

Perryville, Cecil County, Maryland; Philadelphia, & Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, 20-23 April, 1861: Aeronaut J Allen arrived at Philadelphia, Pennsyvania, on 20 April, 1861, and at Perryville, Cecil County, Maryland, on 21 April, 1861. He was assigned to the 1st Rhode Island Detached Militia Artillery at Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, on 23 April, 1861.

Note: Aeronaut J Allen was stationed at Philadelphia, Pennsyvania, on 23 April, 1861.

Camp Sprague, Keating's Farm, near the Old Bladensburg Road, D. C., 9 June 1861: One of Aeronaut J Allen's balloons was inflated at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Third Street and was towed to Keating's Farm, near the Old Bladensburg Road, D. C., on 9 June, 1861. Aeronaut J Allen made experiments and tests in aerial observations, under the supervision of Major A J Myer, Signal Officer, United States Army, at Camp Sprague, Keating's Farm, near the Old Bladensburg Road, D. C., the same day.

Camp Sprague, Keating's Farm, near the Old Bladensburg Road, D. C., 8-9 July, 1861: First Lieutenant H L Abbott, United States Topographical Engineers, was ordered to inflate one of Aeronaut J Allen's balloons and make a reconnaissance at Camp Sprague, Keating's Farm, near the Old Bladensburg Road, D. C., by Captain A W Whipple, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, on 8 July, 1861, and made a partial ascent in the morning on 9 July, 1861.

Alexandria, Virginia, 14 July, 1861: Aeronaut J Allen's two balloons were inflated at Alexandria, Virginia, in the morning on 14 July, 1861, and were ordered to rendexvous with Brigader General D Tyler, Connecticut Volunteers, at Falls Church, Fairfax County, Virginia, the same day.

Note: A detachment of sixty men of the 11th New York Infantry was assigned to tow the two balloon to Falls Church, Fairfax County, Virginia, on 14 July, 1861, and one balloon burst during inflation and collapsed at Alexandria, Virginia, and one struck a telegraph pole and exploded near Falls Church, Fairfax County, Virginia, the same day (See the 11th New York Infantry).

John Wise

Aeronaut J Wise was stationed at Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on 15 July, 1861, and was ordered to Washington, D. C., by Captain A W Whipple, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, on 16 July, 1861.

Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D. C., 17 July, 1861: Aeronaut J Wise and his son Charles Wise proceeded to Washington, D. C., in the morning on 17 July, 1861, and arrived by the Washington Branch, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the same day.

Note: Captain A W Whipple, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, notified the Bureau of Topographical Engineers, Washington, D. C., to adopt a balloon for army service on 26 June, 1861, and a contract for a military balloon was awarded to Aeronaut J Wise on 27 June, 1861. Aeronaut J Wise was assigned to the United States Topographical Engineers, Balloon Detachment, on 1 July, 1861.

Washington Gas Works & Columbian Armory, near Maryland Avenue, Washington, D. C., to Centreville, Fairfax County, Virginia, 19 July, 1861: Aeronaut J Wise was ordered to inflate his balloon at the Washington Gas Works, Washington, D. C., and join Captain A W Whipple, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, at Centreville, Fairfax County, Virginia, on 19 July, 1861, and arrived at the Columbian Armory, near Maryland Avenue, Washington, D. C., the same day.

Washington, D. C., to Centreville, Fairfax County, Virginia, 21 July, 1861: Aeronaut J Wise was ordered to proceed across the Potomac River by the Aquduct Bridge, Georgetown, D. C., under the command of Major A J Myer, Signal Officer, United States Army, at 1 AM on 21 July, 1861, and was accompanied by a wagon and detachment of twenty-two men of the 26th Pennsylvania Infantry, under the command of Sergeant E Bird.

Note: A detachment of twenty-two men of the 26th Pennsylvania Infantry, under the command of Sergeant E Bird, was temporarily assigned to tow Aeronaut J Wise's balloon at the Columbian Armory, near Maryland Avenue, Washington, D. C., on 17 July, 1861.

Fairfax Courthouse & Centreville, Fairfax County, Virginia, to Washington, D. C., 21 July, 1861: Aeronaut J Wise's balloon was badly torn in trees between Fairfax Couthouse and Centreville, Fairfax County, Virginia, in the afternoon on 21 July, 1861, and was ordered to be repaired and refilled at Washington, D. C., by Major A J Myer, Signal Officer, United States Army, the same day.

Professor Thaddeus S C Lowe

Professor T S C Lowe and the balloon Enterprise was stationed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 4 June, 1861.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D. C., 5 June, 1861: Professor T S C Lowe and the balloon Enterprise proceeded by the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad to Washington, D. C., on 5 June, 1861, and arrived at the National Hotel, on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D. C., the same day.

Columbian Armory, near Maryland Avenue, Washington, D. C., 17 June, 1861: Professor T S C Lowe ascended in the balloon Enterprise at the Columbian Armory, near Maryland Avenue, Washington, D. C., at 4 PM on 17 June, 1861, and was accompanied by Superintendent G McD. Burns and Telegraher H C Robinson, American Telegrah Company.

Note: The balloon Enterprise was stationed on the lawn of the White House, on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washigton, D. C., in the eveing on 17 June, 1861.

Columbian Armory, near Maryland Avenue, Washington, D. C., to Arlington House, on Arlington Heights, Alexandria County, Virginia, 21 & 22 June, 1861: Professor T S C Lowe and the balloon Enterprise were ordered to Arlington House, on Arlington Heights, Alexandria County, Virginia, in the evening on 21 June, 1861, and proceeded across the Potomac River by the Long Bridge, Washington, D. C., in the afternoon on 22 June, 1861. He was accompanied by a detachment of fifteen men of the 8th New York State Militia Infantry and arrived at Arlington House, on Arlington Heights, Alexandria County, Virginia, the same day (See the 8th New York State Militia Infantry).

Note: Captain A W Whipple, United States Topographical Engineers, was stationed at Arlington House, on Arlington Heights, Alexandria County, Virginia, in the afternoon on 22 June, 1861, and ordered

Falls Church, Fairfax County, Virginia, & Columbian Armory, near Maryland Avenue, Washington, D. C., 23-25 June, 1861: Professor T S C Lowe and the balloon Enterprise were ordered to Falls Church, Fairfax County, Virginia, at 4 AM on 23 June, 1861, and arrived via Bailey's Crossroads, Alexandria County, Virginia, at 10 AM the same day. Professor T S C Lowe ascended in the balloon Enterprise at 6 PM and 10 PM on 23 june, 1861, and was ordered to the Columbian Armory, near Maryland Avenue, Washington, D. C., in the morning on 25 June, 1861.

Smithsonian Institute, on Maryland Avenue, Washington, D. C., 12 & 13 July, 1861: Professor T S C Lowe varnished and repaired the balloon Enterprise at the Smithsonian Institute, on Maryland Avenue, Washington, D. C., on 12 July, 1861, and ascended in the afternoon on 13 July, 1861.

Falls Church, Fairfax County, & Fort Corcoran, on Arlington Heights, Alexandria County, Virginia, 21 & 22 July, 1861: Professor T S C Lowe and the balloon Enterprise proceeded to Centreville, Fairfax County, Virginia, in the evening on 21 July, 1861, and was accompanied by a detachment of the 26th Pennsylvania Infantry (See the 26th Pennsylvania Infantry). He arrived at Falls Church, Fairfax County, Virginia, on 21 July, 1861, and was ordered to Arlington Heights, Alexandria County, Virginia, at 4.30 AM on 22 July, 1861. Professor T S C Lowe arrived at Fort Corcoran, on Arlington Heights, Alexandria County, Virginia, at 8 PM the same day.

Fort Corcoran, on Arlington Heights, Alexandria County, Virginia, 24 July, 1861: Professor T S C Lowe ascended in the balloon Enterprise near Fort Corcoran, on Arlington Heights, Alexandria County, Virginia, at 7.30 AM on 24 July, 1861

Note: Professor T S C Lowe was ordered to join Brigadier General I McDowell, United States Army, by Major H Bache, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, on 17 July, 1861, but was countermanded on 19 July, 1861.

United States Corps Topographical Engineers

Captain A W Whipple, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, was assigned to Brigadier General I McDowell, United States Army, at Arlington House, on Arlington Heights, Alexandria County, Virginia, on 31 May, 1861, and was appointed chief topographical engineer of the Defenses of Washington, D. C., south of the Potomac River, between 1 June and 15 July, 1861. He was appointed chief topographical engineer, Army of Northeastern Virginia, on 16 July, 1861, and was appointed brevet captain, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, for gallant and meritorious services in the Manassas Campaign on 21 July, 1861.

Note: First Lieutenants H L Abbot and G K Mendell, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, were assigned to the Department of Northeastern Virginia on 29 June and 15 July, 1861, respectively, and Major A J Myer, United States Signal Corps, as an aide to Brigadier General I McDowell, United States Army, on 21 July, 1861.

Major H Bache, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, Bureau of Topographical Engineers, Washington, D. C., 11 April-11 December, 1861: Major H Bache, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, was assigned to command the Bureau of Topographical Engineers, Washington, D. C., between 11 April and 11 December, 1861.

Second Lieutenant H S Putnam, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, Annapolis, Anne Arundal County, Maryland, 9-26 May, 1861: Second Lieutenant H S Putnam, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, was assigned as mustering officer at Annapolis, Anne Arundal County, Maryland, on 8 May, 1861, and arrived in the evening on 9 May, 1861. He mustered the 20th New York State Militia Infantry in United States service for three months on 11 May, 1861; the 6th New York State Militia Infantry on 14 May, 1861; the 13th New York State Militia Infantry on 14 and 17 May, 1861; the 3rd Massachusetts Battalion Rifles on 16 May, 1861; the Boston Light Artillery on 18 May, 1861, and the 8th Massachusetts Infantry, Companies J and K, between 9 and 26 May, 1861.

Note: Colonel C P Stone, 14th United States Infantry; Captain & Assistant Quartermaster R O Tyler, United States Quartmaster's Department; Brevet Captain & Assistant Adjutant General J B Fry, United Sates Adjutant General's Department, and Second Lieutenant H S Putnam, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, were assigned as staff to Brigadier General I McDowell, United States Army, at Arlington House, on Arlington Heights, Alexandria County, Virginia, on 28 May, 1861.

General Orders No.2, Paragraph I, Department of Northeastern Virginia, Arlington, Alexandria County, Virginia, 31 May, 1861: Second Lieutenant H S Putnam, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, was appointed chief, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, Department of Northeastern Virginia, by General Orders No.2, Paragraph I, Department of Northeastern Virginia, Arlington, Alexandria County, Virginia, on 31 May, 1861.

Captain J W Abert, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, Army of Pennsylvania, 21 June, 1861: Captain J W Abert, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, was assigned as staff to Major General R Patterson, Pennsylvania Volunteers, Army of Pennsylvania, on 21 June, 1861.

Colonel W B Franklin, 12th United States Infantry, First Brigade, Third Division, Army of Northeastern Virginia: Captain W B Franklin, United States Corps Topographical Engineers, was appointed superintending engineer in charge of the extension of the Capital (including the new dome), and the General Post Office, Washington, D. C., between 1 November, 1859 and 3 March, 1861, and chief of the Construction Bureau, United States Treasury Department, and superintending engineer of the Treasury Building extension between 3 March and 14 May, 1861. He was stationed at Albany, Albany County, New York, on 1 June, 1861, and was appointed colonel, 12th United States Infantry, by General Orders No.33, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D. C., on 18 June, 1861, dated 14 May, 1861. Colonel W B Franklin, 12th United States Infantry, was appointed brigadier general, United States Volunteers, by General Orders No.62, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D. C., on 20 August, 1861, dated 17 May, 1861 (See the First Brigade, Third Division, Army of Northeastern Virginia).

Orders of Battle

The above painting, 'New York's Bravest', is by Don Troiani, modern America's finest historical artist.