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    [Civil War Ballooning]. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston Autograph Letter Twice Signed. One page, 5" x 7.75", Manassas [Virginia], August 22, 1861. The American Civil War saw the first major use of balloons for reconnaissance during warfare with the implementation of the Union Army Balloon Corps. The Confederate Army had their own battery of balloons with colorful names like Gazelle, Lady Davis, and Silk Dress Balloon, so named as it was made of dress silk.

    Writing to Gen. Pierre G.T. Beauregard, Johnston, recently promoted to full general, discusses bypassing Richmond to get a balloon to Manassas as quickly as possible, in full: "I wrote to the president yesterday on the subject of the battery for the second time & sent the letter by an acquaintance going to Richmond. The balloon can be referred to the authorities after we get it. Don't let us subject ourselves to the delays of Richmond. I have telegraphed to Elzey, & written to Jackson & Stuart." With a short postscript bearing a second signature of Johnston's initials. Docketed on the verso. A single fold shows light toning. The upper left corner is wrinkled slightly. Some ink smudging near the bottom does not render the text illegible.

    By the summer of 1863, balloon reconnaissance on both sides had ceased completely, much to the relief of the Confederate authorities.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2015
    12th-13th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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