Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Henry Bentley of Lowe's Balloon's Corps, Letter from Gaines' Mill. Four pages, 5" x 8", with transmittal envelope postmarked June 23, [1862]; Washington, DC. Although undated, the postmark on the transmittal cover suggests that the letter is written just days before the Battle of Gaines' Mill. Great content describing a rebel attack on the corps' camp as they assisted in providing reconnaissance during the Seven Days' battles. In part: "5th Day 19 Headquarters Lowe's Balloon, Gaine's Hill [Mill] In front of Richmond, Va. I think it best for me to write again this evening as I may, and think I shall remove my quarters from here for a few days, to Gen McCall's Headquarter's on the extreme right of the army some 5 or 6 miles above here and nearer Richmond. I go then as there quite a number of Penn'a regiments under him, and I am somewhat acquainted with some of his staff. We arranged this P.M. that Painter remain here with the Prof. Barclay went McClellan's headquarters, Warburton (his bro' in law goes to Savage's Station to take our matter to White House Landing for Fort Monroe; while Bowers and Wallington are way down on the left in Hintzelman's Division and thereabouts.

    We had the greatest fun here (at Lowe's) this P.M. that I ever did have, I think Barclay and his brother in law never had happened to be any where in the neighborhood of a shot or shell, when it struck. Suddenly, about the middle of the P.M. the rebels began to throw shells over to the right of our tent, below the balloon, although it was not up at this time. I have never seen men scared, but I think Barclay just about threw himself on the ground the liveliest that ever a fat man did. Each time the bomb was heard, whistling through the air somebody would call out, as usual, 'Down', and, of course all fell down quick as usual in such cases, but Barclay beside falling, would crawl behind the trees, and put himself in more danger than he would to keep out in the field. Poor Barclay, after diving and dodging about during a number of shots he was so overcome and covered with dirt that he looked like a day laborer. Some of us tried to get him to hour on the hill so that he could see them fire. But it was impossible, he started immediately for McClellan's. We wished he had been here tonight about 5 o'clock this P.M. as when Lowe made his ascension the rebels fired two shells directly in line of it in front of the tents. Painter, myself, Lumley (artist) and several others were sitting in front of the tent and both shells came awful near hitting it, and one went between the balloon ropes and the other fell a few feet in front, passing through the tops of the trees under which we were sitting it did not explode. Tomorrow it will be moved directly in front of a rebels fine house, when if they want to take their chances of hitting his house as well, they may do so...

    With flattened folds, and bold ink. Evenly toned with a few spots of foxing.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2016
    12th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 266

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $200,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $200,000 and $2,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 September 23 - 24 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Beverly Hills.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 May 11 Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 May 11 Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,136,520