The Union Army wanted to show the American people that there are men who are willing to be of service despite their age. They were called the “Graybeard Regiment,” and it included more than 1,000 men who were considered unfit for military service. The men in the 37th Iowa Infantry Regiment had to be at least 45 years old to join, but they still had to be capable of performing guarding prison camps, supply trains, and other guard posts throughout the war. They were never intended to be in combat. The Graybeards were disbanded in May 1865 after the war’s end.