Abe Lincoln's Army in the Sky

The Civil War was a war between the U.S. states. It was between the North and South. It lasted for four years. The states in the South wanted slaves. The states in the North did not.

Abraham Lincoln was president. He lived in the White House. He lived in Washington, DC. He wanted to end slavery. He wanted to end the Civil War.

A man came to President Lincoln. The man’s name was Thaddeus Lowe. He had an idea. The idea was to use hot air balloons. You can go high in a balloon. You can see far in a balloon. You can see the other army in a balloon. You can see its troops. You can see what they are doing. You can see where they are going. This can help you know how to fight them. This can help you win the war.

President Lincoln loved this idea. He loved the hot air balloons. He saw how they could help. He made the first American air force. It did not have planes. (Planes weren’t invented yet.) It had balloons.

Each balloon was held to the ground by a long rope. A pilot took the balloon up. It went up 500 feet. The pilot looked around. The balloon went down. The pilot told the army what he saw. This helped the North win the war.