Civil War Image Shop

Rare View Veterinary Sergeant with Unique Insignia

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Item No. CV8091MF Category


Seldom seen carte view of an unidentified Federal veterinary sergeant. This is the only example I have ever seen! There were several attempts to incorporate a veterinary service into the the army both prior to and following the onset of the war. Those attempts never came to fruition until following the wars first few battles, it became clearly evident that a Veterinary Corps was desperately needed to care for the countless horses employed in the US service. In 1861, the US Army finally formed a veterinary service. In doing so, each company was required to have one farrier to care for horses and pack animals. Additionally the position of “Veterinary Sergeant” was created. Each veterinary sergeant was responsible for three battalions of horses. Unlike farriers, veterinary sergeants received the pay and privilege’s of a non-commissioned officer. Unfortunately the newly formed position did little to improve the quality and care of horses. There were simply not enough sergeants employed, most had very little education in veterinary medicine and often times their orders were simply ignored by officers who needed to keep the army on the move rather than worrying about the care of horses. This unknown subject wears a tailored jacket with the collar and cuffs trimmed in black velvet. He also sports a pair of NCO trousers. Unlike farriers employed in the service which wore insignia in the shape of a horseshoe, this sergeant wears insignia on his upper arm in the shape of a horse! A cloth silhouette in the shape of a horse is clearly evident on the coat sleeve. Very few veterinary sergeants were employed during the war so this is really a unique image seldom seen. No back mark on this one.

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