Question: Recently I discovered a relative had two photos of my ancestor in the Civil War with slightly different uniforms. I am trying to obtain a scan of the image. However the information on the back may offer a clue. One photograpj says he was with the 18th Massachusetts Infantry, and the other simply says “3rd VRC”. I thought it might be for Vermont Cavalry but no luck so far. Can you offer any help?
Answer: The VRC is an abbreviation for the Union Army - Veteran Reserve Corps. This corps was originally known as the Invalid Corps. It was created to allow those with a partial disability to perform light military duty, and they would not be on the front lines. An interesting website detailing the uniforms worn by the VRC can be seen at: http://www.cjdaley.com/vrc.htm