Joseph Henry's Letter to Edwin McMasters Stanton (July 21, 1863)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to Edwin McMasters Stanton, Secretary of War, July 21, 1863. In the letter, Henry passes along from Thaddeus Lowe an account of the introduction of ballooning operations to the Union Army in the Civil War. Henry served as a scientific advisor to President Abraham Lincoln during the war and first introduced Lowe and his ballooning to the Union officials.


  • Lowe, T. S. C (Thaddeus Sobieski Coulincourt) 1832-1913
  • Stanton, Edwin McMasters 1814-1869
  • Lincoln, Abraham 1809-1865
  • United States. Secretary of War


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


2 pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 10, pages 322-323 (Document 182).

Contained within

Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 10, The Smithsonian Years: January 1858-December 1865 (Smithsonian Institution in association with Science History Publications/USA, 2004), 322-323

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


  • July 21, 1863
  • Civil War, 1861-1865

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Aerial reconnaissance
  • Balloons (Aircraft)
  • Letters
  • Aeronautics
  • History
  • Ballooning
  • Aerial reconnaissance, American


United States


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-0036 and SIA2012-0037

Physical description

Number of Images: 2 ; Color: Black and White ; Size: 7w x 10h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

Full Record

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