Originally known as The “Invalid” Corps. – The later named Veteran’s Reserve Corps. was a formation of The Union Army during America’s Civil War. Formed in 1863, The Corps. was created out of Recruits who could not medically pass for Military Combat Service. Their aliments could have been minor or major. The potential Recruit was subjected to a cursory examination by a Recruitment Doctor. If they were listed as “Valid”, then they could serve. “Invalid” sent them home.
However, by 1863 – The Union Army was running out of Soldiers. Casualties mounted to such a degree that it was impossible to fill The Ranks. Many Soldiers, so marked as “Valid” were till being used to Garrison the many Forts surrounding Washington DC and in The American West. The idea (which was also briefly adopted during The Revolutionary War of the 18th Century) developed to use these “Invalid” Soldiers to good measure.
The (4) Battalions of Invalids formed in 1863, were used for Garrison and Guard duties. Later, they would greatly assist in Medical Corpsman duties and as Cooks (thus freeing up much needed “Valid” Soldiers). These Soldiers could not withstand the rigors of Combat duty, but did distinguish themselves on one than more occasion (especially when defending the myriad of Forts surrounding The Capital).
Later in The War, Soldiers who were so wounded (but still had Service Time on their Enlistments), were recruited into The Corps. It was from that point the name was changed to The Veteran’s Reserve Corps. Their Uniforms were greatly different from the standard Uniform of a Union Infantryman (in order for them to stand out from Regular Combat Troops). The Corps. existed until it was disbanded in 1869.