Bird’s-Eye Bo-Peep

Section of printed silk balloon fabric from a captured Confederate balloon. Referred to by Confederate general James Longstreet as the “silk dress balloon,” the craft was constructed of bolts of dress silk. Constructed by captain Langdon Cheves and aeronaut Charles Cevor, the balloon, dubbed the Gazelle, saw service during the Peninsula campaign of 1862. The balloon was captured on 3 July 1862, while being moved aboard an armed tug. In storage at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

MORE BALLOONS. – Some four or five balloons were seen, on yesterday, floating in the air over the Confederate and Federal lines. Two of them, we understand, were sent up from our army, for the purpose of trying the enemy’s plan of playing bird’s-eye bo-peep. The results, of course, were equally satisfactory to both parties.

— From the Richmond Enquirer, 28 May 1862, p. 1, c. 5.

Curator: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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