Discussion Did blacks serve in the Veteran Reserve Corps?

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I was reviewing images showing Verteran Reserve Corps uniforms tonight. I realised that I do not recall seeing any images showing a black Veteran Reserve Corps members. This got me wondering if blacks were allowed to serve in the Veteran Reserve Corps.

If blacks did serve in the Veteran Reserve Corps, did they do so in segregated units? It would be great if someone could post an image of a black Veteran Reserve Corps soldier.
 

CLuckJD

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Below is some info on one prime example I find excellent for starting reference:

BLACK CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS WITH INJURIES, CHRONIC CONDITIONS, AND DISABILITIES
Lewis-Martin-NARA.png


From what is known, Private Lewis Martin was born in Arkansas, a slave, but somehow became free, enlisted in Illinois in February of 1864. A muster roll record lists his place of birth as Arkansas, his age as 24 years, his height as 6 feet, 2 inches, and his occupation as a farmer. A few months later he took part in the Battle of the Crater at Petersburg, Virginia and was wounded, resulting in the amputations. He was sent to the General Hospital at Alexandria, Virginia, then later transferred to Harewood Hospital in Washington, DC before finally being discharged. He returned to Illinois.

After that, his story is hard to follow, but from what I can find, it is a sad tale. He obviously was unable to work, and was the victim of discrimination and public humiliation. He became an alcoholic. It would seem his obituary and articles in several papers made mention of it:

Died from Exposure & Drink

Louis Martin, a Colored Man, Dies Alone

At FindaGrave the IL State Register’s obituary reads:

A negro named Lewis Martin, who is well known in this city as the one-legged and one-armed old soldier, was found dead yesterday morning in his bed. He resided in a house, corner of Lincoln avenue and Jefferson street, and up to a short time ago he had been having a white woman at his home as a housekeeper, but she left him recently and he had since lived alone. About 7 o’clock yesterday morning, Mrs. Carrie Boone, colored, who came to the house frequently to look after him, found him dead. Mrs. Boone immediately notified some of the neighbors.
He was a private in the Twenty-ninth Illinois volunteers during the war, and received a pension of $72 per month for the loss of his limbs and one eye in the army. He received some time ago back pension money amounting to $6,500, a portion of which he invested in property on West Jefferson street, including the place where he lived. He also had some money saved up. He was about 45 years of age, and has two brothers residing in Alton, who have been notified of his death. IL State Register, Springfield, IL 1-27-1892
On November 2, 2013, citizens from the Springfield community held a ceremony honoring Private Martin. A marker for his grave was erected and Civil War re-enactors presented the colors; a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps,” all the things Lewis did not get when he died. Considering, the dedication was exactly 2 years ago today, it seemed pertinent to write and reflect on Private Lewis Martin, his service and his sacrifice.

LewisMartinGravestone-876x1024.jpg
For more details, read Pvt. Martin's Invalid Corps Page
 

CLuckJD

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Another source might offer some new insight on the issue:

"The Invalid Corps"

b1084-the-invalid-corps.jpg

Historic American Sheet Music Item #: hasm.b1084
Location: Historic American Sheet Music Collection, Duke University (Durham, NC)
Title of Song: The Invalid Corps by Frank Wilder
Illustrator: Bufford, J. H.
Publisher: Henry S. Tolman
Year & Place: 1863; Boston, Massachusetts

Basic Description

This lithograph depicts six male soldiers standing in a row. While these soldiers occupy the center of the pictorial space, a flag waves in the background and there are trees etched faintly. Four out of six men suffer from a physical injury either to a leg or an arm. Two play drums on the far sides of the composition while a man in wearing a sling on his right arm engages in conversation with knock-kneed soldier to his right. Some carry bayonet guns while others have swords. Whereas most of the men wear official army garments, two wear clothing that is undifferentiated from that which a civilian might wear.

Personal Description

The visual strategy here in combination with the song’s title attempts to create a logical rationalization for the supposed disability of blackness. In other words, to convey the handicap of being a Negro, the object’s creator rendered a situation that would unequivocally signal weakness or lack of ability. It is almost as if, the simple presence of whites in blackface would not communicate this message in clear nor a funny manner. Here, the artist visually conflates the disability of the body with blackness, implying that a black regiment literally cannot fight in a war. They are literally, in-valid.

Reality Check ...

View and read more at this link
 
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