Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Civil War Invalid Corps Record Research

Was Your Ancestor in the Invalid Corps or Veteran Reserve Corps?
Your Civil War ancestor’s "active duty service" may have been shortened due to a disability, but did his service come to an abrupt halt, or did he transfer to the Invalid Corps or Veteran Reserve Corps?

Many veterans were wounded while in the military or contracted a disease in the line of duty, but still wanted to serve and could perform light military duty. In 1863 the Union Army and Marine Corps officers and soldiers were allowed to be admitted into the Invalid Corps to continue their military service.  This was not unique to the Union soldiers.  Disabled Confederacy soldiers also served in an Invalid Corps. 

Your Union Civil War veteran may have been one of the 60,000 men who served in the 24 regiments between 1863 - 1866.  There were two battalions: 1st battalion was created 23 Feb 1864 - 27 Nov 1865. Visit here for a listing of the 2nd Battalion companies.

History and Timeline
An Invalid Corps was far from being a new idea. During the Revolutionary War an Invalid Corps was also formed as an alternative to medical discharge. 

28 April 1863 - 18 March 1864   Invalid Corps (Union)
Invalid Corps soldiers who were unable to march or hold a musket were able to be cooks, nurses and guards, etc.  They were given unwelcomed distinct uniforms.
March 1864 Invalid Corps (Confederacy)
Mandatory service was required of officers and soldiers  who were disabled in the line of duty in order to receive pay.
18 March 1864  - 1866  Veteran Reserve Corps (VRC – Union)
Invalid Corps was renamed as the Veteran Reserve Corps (VRC).  
Where to Find Your Ancestor's VRC Records
A good place to start is with the understanding of the regiments and battalions. Visit Veteran Reserve Corps to narrow your veteran’s possible regiment.  Most enlisted close to home. Note: Although hosted on the PA roots website, this website offers a nationwide overview.

Congressional Serial Set and National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers may provide additional information of your veteran.
For Veteran Reserve Corps Civil War Pension Records visit Fold3 and peruse the 29,000 plus indices and request originals from National Archives I, Washington, DC.

Where to Research at NARA
Record Group 110, Provost Marshal Records are a great place to obtain additional information on your Civil War veteran. Here are just a few links: 
Veteran Reserve Corps Headstone Application
Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

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