Corvis was only fifteen years old when he joined the Union Army in May, 1864. He was in active service until the surrender of the Confederate forces.
Following the war Corvis taught in Ohio and then raised livestock and grain on a farm outside Reading. Eventually Corvis moved to Hillsdale and boarded for a time with a local US Marshal and his wife. He made a wise choice when he married Kate Mitchell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Mitchell, setting himself up to have useful connections. Corvis was an ambitious man with aspirations to be a political force.
He lost as many elections as he won, but in 1878 he was elected county clerk and register in chancery. He studied law in his spare time and became a member of the bar in 1885.