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     A Guide to Research Resources

Veterans Reserve Corps

Invalid Corps

On April 28, 1863, the War Department issued General Order No. 105 which authorized the creation of the Invalid Corps.  According to information provided by the National Archives, the name was changed to the Veteran Reserve Corps (VRC) in March 1864 after confusion with the damaged good stamp “I.C.” (Inspected-Condemned) affected volunteer morale.  

The VRC was composed of officers and enlisted men unfit for active field service because of wounds or disease contracted in the line of duty, but who were still capable of performing garrison duty.  The corps also included men who were absent from duty and in hospitals, in convalescent camps, or otherwise under the control of medical officers, but who were capable of serving as cooks, nurses, clerks, or orderlies at hospitals and as guards for hospitals or other public buildings. 

The compiled military service records for the Veterans Reserve Corps are similar to those for the volunteer regiments.  Keep in mind that these records will only contain information about the veteran’s term of service in the VRC.  Researchers need to consult the records for service in previous regiments to document his entire military career.

The compiled military service records consist of an envelope containing card abstracts taken from original records including muster rolls, regimental returns, and medical and prison registers. These cards typically provide enlistment information, term of service, rank, and may include age, physical description, place of birth, place of residence and civilian occupation.  Records may also contain references to wounds, hospitalization, court-martials and death.

The indexes to the VRC service records have been microfilmed and arranged alphabetically by surname.  Most of the VRC records have not been microfilmed, and originals may be viewed at the National Archives in Washington, DC.

Ordering Information:

To order the service record directly from the National Archives, click here

For faster service, contact a professional researcher.  For a list of researchers who work at the DC facility, click here

Published Resources:

National Archives' Microfilm Resources for Research: A Comprehensive Catalog for a list of microfilmed name indexes and compiled service records.

Military Service Records: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications (1985)

Both of these publications are available for purchase from the National Archives.

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