Professor Joseph Henry
Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
I beg pardon for troubling you with my affairs connected with the
Government but in as much as the first operations of Balloons for Military
purposes were under your immediate supervision, and you being acquainted
with the fact that these experiments were made with my own machinery and
subsequently used in the field by order of Captain A. W. Whipple later Gen'l
Whipple now dead and from whom I can get no assistance, I hope that you
will find it consistent to furnish to the Hon. Secretary of War such a
statement as will satisfy him of the truthfulness of my claims. In order
that you may know what my claims are and judge of their correctness I enclose
them with this letter....
The way I now stand in relation to my employment with the government
is this... The amount I have received for service has barely supported my
family at home and myself in the field. For want of a proper investigation of
the advantages of my branch of science and proper organization of the
Department its use has been suspended, which throws me out of employment too
late in the season to resume my former enterprise, besides which my health is
considerably impaired by hard work and constant exposure in the field - while
in the government employ I have managed my Department, with the strictest
economy and with the very best of faith and did all that I possibly could for
the cause in which we were engaged.
My report shows this and also the great value of my services on
several particular occasions in testimony of which I have letters from Major
Generals Heintzelman and Stoneman and shall soon have obtained a dozen others
from Generals who have used the balloons...
As things now stand, I hope at least to be able to obtain the amount
contained in the accompanying accounts and the one already at the War
Department for the approval of the Hon. Secretary of War the whole amounting
to about three thousand dollars. Should I meet with much delay in getting
this amount it will probably defeat the object for which I have been laboring
for many years, and will consequently put me to much distress. Again, asking
your pardon for troubling you. Knowing as I do, that in addition to your
labors at the Smithsonian Institution, that much of your time is occupied in
rendering valuable scientific service in the General Government.
I remain with great respect
Your ever obd't servant
T. S. C. Lowe
No 1617 Race St.