Joseph Henry's Letter to Alexander Bache (July 30, 1864), by , , Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to his close friend Alexander Bache, a physicist, head of the United States Coast Survey, and Smithsonian Institution Regent, July 30, 1864. In the letter, Henry informs Bache of the activities of the Lighthouse Board, the Permanent Naval Commission, a committee to evaluate naval inventions proposed during the Civil War of which they were both members, and the Smithsonian Institution. Henry also describes the progress of inventor Solomon Andrews' ballooning experiments, which he had recommended to the Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, for use in Civil War aerial reconnaissance. During the Civil War (1861-1865), Henry served as a scientific advisor to President Abraham Lincoln..