Dismembered and injured soldiers from both the North and the South who were still able to function as soldiers on some level, could participate in Invalid Corps. The corps were designed to allow veterans who were able to stand guard and perform other duties such as garrison duty, play in the regimental band and provide service in hospitals.
The Union Invalid Corps, established in 1863 by the War Department, was much more organized, with uniforms slightly different from the regular soldier. They established a corps of those who could bear arms and a second corps of those who were only able to work in hospitals.
The federal government received criticism that the uniforms were different, and eventually changed the Invalid Corps uniforms to match those of all the other union soldiers.
The Confederate Invalid Corps, established in 1864, did not actually set up official units, but did allow soldiers who were able to return to some duty matching their disability.
President Lincoln addressed those “who shall have borne the battle” in his Second Inaugural address, and signed legislation to establish the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in early 1865.
Following the war, Veterans Reserves Corps (formerly the Invalid Corps) members took part in the hangings of the Lincoln conspirators on July 7,1865 when they acted to knock the posts out from under the gallows to allow the conspirators to fall to their deaths.
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