Confederate forces did expend a significant amount of ammunition in trying to bring down the Union army’s balloons with cannon fire. However, other more clandestine methods were used to negate the advantage of aerial observations.
Other Confederate commanders had their men construct batteries of “Quaker guns.” These phony cannons were made from “various calibers of stovepipes,” and while some were identified correctly by Union observers, others seemed to have accomplished their task of misinformation. Specifically, balloon observers noted heavy guns in the rebel fortifications on Mason’s and Munson’s Hills outside of Washington. These were later reported to be Quaker guns.
In reference to the effect the Union balloons had on Confederate actions and psyche, E.P. Alexander perhaps said it best, “We could never build another balloon, but my experience with this gave me a high idea of the possible efficiency of balloons in active campaigns. Especially did we find, too, that the balloons of the enemy forced upon us constant troublesome precautions in efforts to conceal our marches.”