The Invalid Corps, which was the forerunner of the Veteran Reserve Corps, was organized under authority of General Order No. 105, War Department, dated 28 Apr 1863. The title Veteran Reserve Corps was substituted for that of Invalid Corps by General Order No. 111, dated 18 Mar 1864. It was abolished in 1866.
The following document explains the structure, duties and uniforms of the Invalid Corps.
Duties of the Invalid Corps.
[Circular, No. 21.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, PROVOST MARSHAL GENERAL'S OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C., June 10, 1863.
1. To answer the many inquiries that are addressed to this office in relation to the character of the duties of the Invalid Corps, and the method of getting into it, the following is published for the information of all:
2. Enlisted men, honorably discharged on account of disability, desiring to reenlist in this corps will present themselves to the Board of Enrollment for the district in which they reside, for examination by the surgeon thereof, who shall make a personal examination of them and report the result to the Board of Enrollment.
3. The Board shall then consider each case, and if the applicant is found to fulfill the conditions specified below, the Board shall give him a certificate (according to the form furnished) to that effect, viz: 1. That he is unfit for service in the field. 2. That he is fit for garrison duty according to the rules laid down in General Orders, No. 130, War Department, 1863. 3. That he is meritorious and deserving. 4. That he was honorably discharged from the service on account of disability.
4. The Provost Marshal for the district shall furnish the applicant with a ticket of transportation, by the shortest practicable route, to the nearest Acting Assistant Provost Marshal General of a State, (no matter if it be not in the same State,) who shall procure such evidence of service and good character as he may deem sufficient; and if satisfied that it is a meritorious case, and that the man is not intemperate, he will have him enlisted. If rejected the man shall have a transportation ticket to the district whence he canne. 5. The term of enlistment in the Invalid Corps shall be three years, unless sooner discharged. Enlistments shall be made upon printed forms furnished for the purpose. They will in all cases be made in duplicate. The premium for accepted recruits as laid down in paragraph 1315 General £: will not, however, be allowed in the Invalid Corps serVice.
6. It is further announced that no officer or enlisted man shall be entitled to, or receive, any pension, premium, or bounty, for enlistment or reenlistment, or service in the Invalid Corps. Claims for pensions or bounties which may be due for previous service will not be invalidated by enlistment in the Invalid Corps. But no pensions can be drawn, or accrue to the benefit of any man, during his service in said corps. The officers and men will be organized into companies of infantry, of the same strength as is now authorized by law for the United States infantry.
7. The officers and enlisted men will receive the same pay and allowances now authorized by law for the United States infantry, and will be paid in the same manner.
8. The following uniform has been adopted for officers of the Invalid Corps: Frock coat -- Of sky-blue cloth, with dark-blue velvet collar and cuffs; in all other respects according to the present pattern for officers of infantry. Shoulder straps -- According to present regulations, but worked on dark-blue velvet. Pantaloons -- Of sky-blue cloth, with double stripe of dark-blue cloth down the outer seam, each stripe one-half inch wide, with space between of three-eighths of an inch. The following uniform has been adopted for the enlisted men of the Invalid Corps: Jacket -- Of sky-blue kersey, with dark-blue trimmings, cut like the jacket for United States cavalry, to come well down on the loins and abdomen. Trowsers -- Present regulation, sky blue. Forage cap-Present regulation.
9. Men enlisted in, or transferred to, the Invalid Corps, will be subject to the Articles of War, Army Regulations, &c., the same as other soldiers, and will be required to perform all duties within the limit of their physical capacity, as laid down in the Rules and Regulations for that corps; but for the convenience of service they will be selected for three grades of duty. Those who are most efficient and able-bodied, and capable of using the musket, and performing guard duty, light marches, &c., &c., will be assigned to companies of the first battalion. Those of the next degree of physical efficiency, including all who have lost a hand or an arm, to the companies of the second battalion. Those who are the least effective, and including all who have lost a foot or leg, to the companies of the third battalion.
10. Companies of the first battalion will be employed mainly as provost guards and garrison for cities, but may be assigned to forts, fieldworks, and railroads near the cities and other important points. They will be armed with muskets, and will not be liable to active campaigns with the field armies.
Companies of the second battalion will be armed with side arms only, and will be employed as guards of buildings, hospitals, &c., and will have companies of the first battalion on duty with them when the use of fire-arms may be necessary.
The companies of the third battalion will be armed with side arms like the second battalion, and will be employed in hospitals as cooks, nurses, ward masters, clerks, orderlies, &c., &c.; the officers of these companies doing the duties of military assistants at the hospitals.
JAMES B. FRY, Provost Marshal General.