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Civil War Stories: The man who floated above the Civil War in a balloon.

Civil War Stories: The man who floated above the Civil War in a balloon.

Slate's audio offerings.
Oct. 27 2011 3:25 PM

The Last Civil War Aeronaut

Thaddeus S.C. Lowe: The man who floated above Union battles in a balloon.

Thaddeus Lowe in an observation balloon during the Civil War.
Thaddeus S.C. Lowe in a balloon during the Civil War

Photograph courtesty of the Library of Congress.

In the third episode of our monthly audio series “Civil War Stories,” radio producer Nate DiMeo tells the story of Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, one of a tiny handful of people who watched (and took part in) the Civil War from a unique vantage point high overhead. Lowe was a Union army balloonist. Listen using the player below:

You can also download this episode, subscribe for free to the Slate Daily Podcast in iTunes or with our RSS feed, or listen to all “Civil War Stories” episodes in the player below:

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“Civil War Stories” is a collaboration between Slate and “The Memory Palace,” DiMeo’s long-running podcast that unearths forgotten historical gems. The series will appear monthly during this sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War. Nate DiMeo is a co-author of Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America.


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Andy Bowers, the creator and executive producer of Slate podcasts, is the co-founder and chief content officer of Panoply.