CCaptain Invalid Corps

In April 1863 the Invalid Corps was established, consisting of officers and men of the Union army unfit for full combat duty due to injury or illness but who could perform limited infantry service. A total of twenty-four regiments and 188 separate companies were established, who performed guard and garrison duty to relieve front-line soldiers. The name was changed on 18 March 1864 to The Veteran Reserve Corps, as the previous initial of the Invalid Corps coincided with those stamped on worn-out equipment and animals ('Inspected - Condemned'), which had caused some friction within the corps! Officers wore the regulation képi, sky-blue frock-coats with dark blue rank-bars, and sky blue trousers with two dark blue stripes down the seam ; other ranks had képis and trousers like the regular army, but sky blue 'jersey jackets cut long in the waist' and trimmed with dark blue. This uniform was extremely unpopular as the members of the Invalid Corps disliked such obvious distinction from the 'real soldiers' fit for active service. Regular troops also were jealous of the Invalids who had easier tasks. Eventually officers of the Veteran Reserve Corps were allowed to wear the normal dark blue frock-coat, and so regain their pride by appearing like front-line troops.

The 4th New Hampshire apparently wore a curious brimmed képi or a sun helmet, designed to protect the wearer from the heat of the sun. Such helmets were not uncommon (particularly in the earlier part of the war), and were privately-purchased by many officers as well as being issued to certain regiments. The 2 2nd New York (Union Greys) wore militia-style grey uniforms with red facings and white piping, the whole uniform being styled to resemble the French type of costume.

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