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Posted By: Ray Wemple on: 12/06/2004 21:48:15 EDT
Subject: RE: Pre-War Ballooning History

Message Detail:
MARK,
I BELIEVE JOHN WISE ALONG WITH A REPORTER FROM THE ST. LOUIS (MO) "REPUBLICAN" AND ANOTHER AERONAUT ASCENDED IN A BALLOON FROM ST. LOUIS ON THE AFTERNOON OF JULY 4, 1859 AND DRIFTED NORTHEASTERLY FOR TWENTY FOUR HOURS ENDING UP GOING OVER LAKE ONTARIO IN A THUNDER & LIGHTNING STORM AND CRASH LANDING NEAR OWEGO, NY. THE DISTANCE COVERED WAS ABOUT 859 MILES. THIS WAS QUITE A FEAT FOR THOSE TIMES. THEY HAD IDEAS ABOUT THE "JETSTREAM" BUT REALLY DID NOT KNOW IF THERE WERE WIND CURRENTS AT VARIOUS ALTITUDES. THEY TALKED ABOUT CROSS ATLANTIC FLIGHTS BUT NEVER ATTEMPTED ONE, TO MY KNOWLEDGE. I COULD BE WRONG. LOWE ALSO MADE A LONG TRIP FROM CINCINATTI AND ENDED UP IN CSA TERRITORY IN APRIL OF 1861 SOMEWHERE IN NORTH CAROLINA I BELIEVE. HE FAST TALKED HIS WAY OUT OF THAT AND GOT BACK TO CINCINATTI WITH HIS BALLOON . THIS HAPPENED SHORTLY AFTER THE WAR COMMENCED. ALSO, ANOTHER AERONAUT, JOHN LA MOUNTAIN FROM TROY, NEW YORK ( MAY HAVE BEEN BORN IN CANADA) WAS ANOTHER PROMINENT AERONAUT WHO WORKED FOR BUTLER OUT OF FORT MONROE, VA FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME DURING THE LATE UNPLEASANTNESS. THEY BOTH WORKED FOR T.S.C.LOWE ALSO. WISE WAS THE FELLOW WHO, ALONG WITH HIS SON, SET OUT FROM THE COLUMBIAN ARMORY IN DC AT ABOUT 2:00 A:M WITH MYER HEADED FOR 1ST MANASSAS/BULL RUN ON 21 JUL 61 BUT NEVER GOT THERE. THE BALLOON WAS TORN TO SHREDS AFTER BEING STUCK MANY TIMES IN TREES, TELEGRAPH LINES, ETC. MYER WHIPPED THE MULES ON THE WAGON HAULING THE BALLOON IN FRUSTRATION SOMEWHERE NEAR CENTERVILLE AND THAT WAS THE END OF THE BALLOON THAT WAS TO BE USED FOR RECON OF MANASSAS/BULL RUN AREA.
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