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Something You Didn’t Know About President Lincoln

Air Force
Koichi Kamoshida, Getty Images

What pops into your mind when you think of Abe Lincoln? Many things immediately register like 16th President, assassination, abolishing slavery, Gettysburg Address and much more.

He was instrumental in the formation of several things including The Secret Service, Department Of Agriculture and the list goes on. I mean this guy was a creator.

But did you know that he created this country’s first Air Force? He did during the civil War.

It was made up of hot air balloons. At the start of the Civil War, Professor Thaddeus Lowe recognizing the potential use of air vehicles in the war, managed to get an invitation to the White House in order demonstrate the capabilities of balloons in the war effort.

Lowe demonstrated the military potential of balloons to the President floating 500 feet above the White House. He used a telegraph to send messages to the ground. The display impressed President Lincoln, who was looking for unconventional means to win the war.

Lincoln formed The Union Balloon Corps. This division went to work from the sky to survey the enemy.

The balloons assisted in several battles, noting Confederate positions and troop movements at Yorktown, Fair Oaks and other locations. It gave the Union Army a definite advantage.

And going even a step further, Lincoln can be credited with creating the first aircraft carrier. A barge was rebuilt for transporting the balloons on water to various locations.

Next time you hear the roar and see a military plane doing maneuvers in the sky, think of Abe Lincoln.

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