CIVIL WARVETERANS RESERVE CORPS.
Archive of material relating to Captain James M. Tracy of the 8th Illinois Veterans Reserve Corps, including:
1. Album containing approximately 56 cartes-de-visite portraits and 4 tintype portraits of Tracy, his military colleagues, and his family, housed in album with penciled identification below each image, full sheep gilt. Present is a near complete gallery of images of the officers of the 8th V.R.C., including LT. COL LEWIS C. SKINNER, MAJOR A. WILEY, CAPTAIN E.C. PHETTEPLACE, CAPT. EMILE MUNCH, CAPT. WARNER YOUNG, LT. JAMES CRAWFORD, LT. MORRIS BRIGGS, LT. EDWARD BACON, LT SEVERIN BARTHOULOT, LT. EDWARD L. DEANE, among others. Present also is a Carte-de-visite portrait of General Jefferson C. Davis, Tracy's regimental commander in the years before his injury, and a retouched portrait of Abraham Lincoln (O-91).
2. Autograph Manuscript Signed of J.M. Tracy, approx. 60 pp recto and verso, 12mo, various places including Champaign-Urbana, St. Louis, and North Carolina, January 1 to December 31, 1862, housed in 1860 pocket diary, full limp black calf with tab, some wear throughout.
3. Small collection of papers, most relating to Tracy's post-war career working for the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands in Tennessee, but also featuring a copy of his 1863 letter written after he was gravely injured, relaying his military experience to that point and asking for a transfer to the V.R.C.
The Veteran's Reserve Corps was designed to put injured soldiers to use in non-combat venues, though often the corps found themselves in harm's way. Though derided as "hopeless cripples," the VRC performed many important functions, such as guarding Confederate POWs, repressing anti-draft riots in the north, serving as honor guard for Lincoln at Gettysburg, defending railroads and depots, and defending Washington D.C. against Jubal Early's 1864 raid.