An Ingenious Civil War Kite-Flying Scheme

Authors: 
Terry Foenander
Article type: 
Journal

The Chicago Tribune of Sunday last, in an article on the Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas, near that city, mentions the following incident:

"Early last week several of the rebels were seized with a mania for kite flying. Pine sticks, paper, paste and twine were in requisition, and soon a half-score of six-cornered kites were ready to take sail. Flying kites is a harmless amusement, and the colonel commanding, remembering how in his boyhood he used to stand on the village common and gaze at his own kite as it wandered heavenwards, was not disposed to deprive the poor fellows, shut in from the world, seeing nothing beautiful unless it is above them, of any enjoyment they might derive from such a recreation.

"So towards evening of the first day the rebel kites were permitted to rise. Away off southward and upward they floated till they were mere specks in the sky. Federal and rebel enjoyed the sight for half an hour, and then the kites were 'wound down'. The next evening the kites flew again, but unfortunately the strings of two or three broke, and they went tumbling on toward the south. No suspicion yet. The next evening the kites again floated, and the strings again broke."

Page Number: 
27