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Bi-Laws of the 4th Texas Infantry

BY-LAWS

of

COMPANY H, 4th TEXAS INFANTRY

NORTHWEST CIVIL WAR COUNCIL

ARTICLE I: PURPOSE

1. Company H, 4th Texas Infantry (hereinafter referred to as the Club or the Company) is a Civil War reenactment unit functioning under the auspices of the Northwest Civil War Council (hereinafter referred to as the NCWC).

2. The purpose of the Club is to promote the public's awareness and understanding of the American Civil War, and to provide a recreational experience for the members of the Club.

ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP

1. The Club invites members into its ranks from all races, creeds, religions, genders, ages, and state of impairment or handicap. To become a member of the Club, an individual must pay Club dues for the current year, must submit a signed application on a form approved by the NCWC, and must complete all safety requirements prescribed by the NCWC.

2. The Club shall represent the prototype unit and related civilians (wives, etc.) as it appeared in the year 1863. Members may chose any persona consistent with this objective. Any woman who portrays a soldier has the rights, duties, and privileges of any other soldier, provided, however, that the Club may, by a vote of the Board of Directors (hereinafter referred to as the Board) or the membership, limit or structure a member's persona in the Club to align that role with the position that a person of the member's race, age, gender, etc. would have occupied in the Confederacy in 1863.

3. Club dues shall be payable upon application for membership, and on January 1st of each successive year. No member shall participate in any Club event or Club election if their dues are more than two months in arrears, nor shall they hold an office in the line or staff of the Club if their dues are more than two months in arrears. Members shall not receive the newsletter if their dues are more than two months in arrears.

4. "Civilians" (family members) and guest reenactors who are members of other units may camp and reenact with the Company as honorary members. Honorary members do not pay dues, but are under the Company command structure. Honorary members will not exercise command, except as prescribed by the Field Commander for a specific event.

ARTICLE III: RANK

1. All members of the Company shall wear the insignia and enjoy the pay, honors, and command authority within the Company historically appropriate to their rank.

2. Upon joining the Club, a member shall hold the rank of Recruit and shall be entitled to wear the insignia and enjoy the pay and honors of a Private.

3. The Field Commander shall prescribe criteria for Recruits relative to required uniform parts and equipment. Recruits who acquire the specified uniform parts and equipment and demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Field Commander a knowledge of the School of the Soldier shall be entitled to wear the Texas Star and shall hold the rank of High Private.

4. No member shall be eligible for election to a line position in the Club unless he has attained the rank of High Private, is 17 years of age, has participated in four Company events, and has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Field Commander a knowledge of the School of the Corporal.

5. No member shall be eligible for election as a Sergeant or commissioned officer until he shall have first served six months as a Corporal and has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Field Commander a knowledge of the School of the Sergeant.

ARTICLE IV: STAFF AND LINE

1. Officer and non-commissioned officer positions in the Club shall be divided into those of the staff and those of the line. Line positions confer rank in the chain of command. Staff positions may entitle the holder to particular pay, honors and insignia, but they do not convey rank in the chain of command.

2. The line officers of the Club shall include the Field Commander, Assistant Field Commander, Adjutant, Company Clerk, Provost, Assistant Provost, Quartermaster, and Assistant Quartermaster. They shall be elected by the Club for the term of two years. The staff positions shall include Musicians, an Artificer, a Color Corporal, Webmaster, and a Newsletter Editor. Staff positions shall be filled by appointment by the Board, and shall serve at its discretion.

3. The Field Commander shall hold the highest commissioned rank authorized within the Company under NCWC rules. He shall command at all Company events and shall be responsible for the safety and orderly behavior of the Club members. He shall have the authority to remove any member of the Club from the camp or field for cause. The Field Commander shall administer all examinations for eligibility for higher rank. The Field Commander or his designee shall represent the Club on the NCWC Executive Board.  The Field Commander shall notify the President of the NCWC of the designee.

4. The Assistant Field Commander shall hold the second highest commissioned rank authorized within the company under NCWC rules, and shall be one rank below the Field Commander. The Assistant Field Commander shall assist the Field Commander in all his duties, and shall be an understudy to the Field Commander and will learn command procedures from the Field Commander. The Assistant Field Commander shall command the company when the Field Commander is absent from an event.

5. The Adjutant shall hold the rank of First Sergeant. He shall perform the duties of President of the Club for all administrative purposes. He shall also act as membership chairman, with primary responsibility for contact and followup with prospective members.

6. The Provost shall hold the rank of Second Sergeant. He shall be responsible for the historical authenticity of the camp at public events and shall have the authority to order that non-authentic items be removed from public view. In extreme cases, he shall have the authority to remove any member from the camp or field for cause. He shall plan and encourage living history during the event. He shall maintain order in the camp within guidelines established by the Field Commander.

7. The Company Clerk shall hold the rank of First Corporal. He shall perform the administrative duties of a secretary and treasurer. He shall maintain membership mailing lists and phone tree lists, and shall place all orders and disburse all money on behalf of the Club.

8. The Quartermaster shall hold the rank of Second Corporal. He shall have custody of all equipment belonging to the Club and shall ensure that it is available for use at appropriate events. He shall also administer the Club's loaner gear program. He shall distribute powder, caps and other supplies purchased by the Club.

9. The Assistant Provost shall hold the rank of Third Corporal, and shall assist the Field Commander and the Provost in their duties.

10. The Assistant Quartermaster shall hold the rank of Fourth Corporal and shall assist the Quartermaster in his duties.

11. The Field Commander, at his option, may create a platoon or squad structure with the Company on a temporary or permanent basis, and may assign such other duties to the non-commissioned officers as may be required within this structure, including the orientation, coaching and instruction of new members.

12. At its discretion, the Board may appoint one or more Musicians from among the members of the Club skilled in military music. The Musicians shall perform the duties prescribed by the Field Commander. The Board may also appoint an Artificer from among the members of the Club knowledgeable about black powder arms. The Artificer shall advise members on the care and safety of their weapons. The Board may also appoint a Color Corporal to bear the Company's colors. The Board shall appoint a member of the Club as newsletter editor, but this position shall not confer additional rank.  The board shall appoint a member of the Club as Webmaster, but this position shall not confer additional rank.

13. No member shall hold more than one Company line office at a time. A member may hold one staff position in addition to a line position.

14. Club members serving on the Brigade staff may simultaneously hold a line and/or staff position in the Club. Such a member shall wear the insignia and receive the pay and honors of his Company line or staff rank, unless he is entitled to higher rank due to service on the Brigade staff.

15. In the event that any line officer is absent from the Company during an event, the Field Commander shall assign lower-ranking line officers to temporary duty in accordance with their position in the chain of command. If he deems necessary, he shall appoint one or more Acting Corporals for the duration of the absence. In the absence of the Field Commander, the highest-ranking line officer present shall discharge the duties of the Field Commander.

ARTICLE V: BOARD OF DIRECTORS

1. The Field Commander, Assistant Field Commander, Adjutant, Company Clerk, Quartermaster, and Provost shall constitute the Club's Board of Directors (herein referred to as the Board). They shall meet at the call of the Adjutant. Any three of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum to transact all business of the Board.

2. The Adjutant shall preside at meetings of the Board.

3. The Club Board shall chose one of its members to represent the Club on the NCWC Board.

ARTICLE VI: ELECTIONS

1. Unless otherwise specified in these By-Laws, all offices shall be filled by election. All paid members of the Club shall be eligible to vote in elections.

2. A regular election shall be held each December of even numbered years, following the announcement of the results of the NCWC election. Ballots shall be mailed to all eligible members along with the Company newsletter. Ballots shall be returned to the Company Clerk, by mail or in person, by a date to be stated on the ballot, such date to be determined by the Board, but not earlier than one month following the mailing of the ballots. Officers elected in a regular election shall take office on the 1st of February next following the election.

3. When necessary to fill a vacancy in any elected office, a special election shall be held. Ballots shall be mailed to all eligible members along with the Company newsletter. In the event of a special election, ballots shall be returned to the Company Clerk by mail or in person by a date to be stated on the ballot, such date to be determined by the Board. Persons elected in a special election shall take office immediately upon the announcement of the results of the election.

4. Any person eligible for election to any office may have his or her name placed on the ballot by submitting a declaration of candidacy to the Company Clerk. The Board shall be the judge in any case where a candidate's eligibility for office is in question.

5. When a vacancy occurs with less than 12 months remaining in the term, the vacancy will be filled by Field Commander appointment (brevet).

 ARTICLE VII: FINANCES

1. Monies shall be raised for the Company Fund by dues, by allotments from the NCWC, and by such other fund-raising activities as the Board may organize.

2. The Company Clerk shall be responsible for the safekeeping of the Company Fund and shall maintain accurate records of all receipts and expenditures.

3. The Board shall set the amount of yearly dues and shall adopt a yearly budget for the expenditure of funds from the Company Fund. No expenditure shall be made unless authorized by the Board.

ARTICLE VIII: PROPERTY

1. All Company property shall be in the custody of the Quartermaster and Assistant Quartermaster, who shall ensure that it is available at any appropriate event.

2. All members shall have the right to use Company property at events under such rules as the Board may adopt, and in such fashion as would be appropriate for the member's persona.

ARTICLE IX: EVENTS

1. All scheduled events of the NCWC will be Company events. At NCWC events, the Club operates under NCWC By-Laws and follows the chain of command in the Confederate Brigade.

2. Other events (i.e., those organized by other units or organizations) will be voted on by the Board to be accepted as Company events. The Club is free to operate independently of the NCWC but will not schedule events that conflict with the scheduled public events of the NCWC.

3. When attending events organized by a group other than the NCWC, the Club shall conform to the By-Laws and command structure of the organizing group.

4. Individual members are free to choose whether to attend any event.

ARTICLE X: CAMP

1. All members of the NCWC and all guest reenactors serving with the Company are under the command of the Field Commander and the Company command structure while in the Company's camp. Rules relating to camp behavior shall be enforced by the command structure. In extreme cases, a person violating camp rules shall be asked to leave the event.

2. The Field Commander, in consultation with the Provost, shall make and enforce reasonable rules designed to prevent unsafe or historically inaccurate behavior within the camp. Rules relative to noise between taps and reveille may also be made and enforced.

3. In the event that the Company institutes a Company mess for one or more meals, the Field Commander shall make and enforce rules relative to cooking, clean up, etc.

4. Behavior considered sexual harassment will not be tolerated in the camp or by members of the Company.



ARTICLE XI: NEWSLETTER

1. The Club shall publish a newsletter, known as the Rebel Yell, to communicate news of the Company and to provide information contributing to the quality of the Company's appearance, personas, etc.

2. The Newsletter Editor shall edit and publish the newsletter in accordance with the budget and other guidelines adopted by the Board.

ARTICLE XII: DRILL MANUAL

The drill manuals of the Company shall be: Rifle and Infantry Tactics, by Hardee, 1862 edition, Parade, Inspection and the Evolutions of the Infantry Battalion, by D. Dell Bello, Instruction for Guards and Pickets, by D. Dell Bello, U.S. Infantry and Rifle Tactics, by J. Gunn, General Order #2 Relative To Mounting of Guards, by Lee Rainey.

ARTICLE XIII: AMENDMENTS, PROCEDURES AND DISSOLUTION

1. These By-Laws shall be distributed via mail to all persons on the Company roll who shall have paid their current Company H and NCWC dues. In the second issue of the newsletter following the distribution of the By-Laws, a ballot on the adoption of the By-Laws shall be mailed to all the persons on the role who shall be current in their dues. These By-Laws shall not be adopted unless at least a majority of the dues-paying persons on the roll shall vote in favor of adoption.

2. Any three members of the Company may propose an amendment to these By-Laws. The amendment shall be submitted to the Company Clerk in writing, signed by the members who propose it. The Company Clerk shall cause the amendment to be published in the newsletter. In the second issue of the newsletter following the initial publication of the amendment, a ballot on the adoption of the amendment shall be mailed to all members. The amendment shall not be adopted unless at least a majority of the dues-paying members shall vote in favor of adoption.

3. All meeting and elections of Company H shall be conducted in accordance with the applicable procedures stated in the current edition of Roberts' Rules of Order.

4. Company H may be dissolved only by a vote of the members. Any three members of the Company may propose to dissolve the Company. This shall be done by a written motion, which shall be submitted to the Company Clerk, signed by the members who propose it. The Company Clerk shall cause the proposal to be published in the newsletter. In the second issue of the newsletter following the initial publication of the motion for dissolution, a ballot on the motion shall be mailed to all members. The motion shall not be adopted unless at least two-thirds of the members shall vote in favor of adoption.

5. Upon adoption of the motion for dissolution, all property belonging to the Company shall be sold by auction within the NCWC in such manner as the Quartermaster and Company Clerk shall deem best. All monies from the auction shall be deposited in the Company Fund. Upon completion of the auction, the Company Fund shall be divided equally between all current members on the roll at the time of the vote for dissolution.

Article XIV: Website

1. The Club shall maintain a website to communicate news of the Company, allow members to communicate with each other, share photos, and to stay in contact with other websites and organizations relative to the Company.

 2. The person maintaining the website, hereafter known as the Webmaster, shall pass on all passwords and access to the website in case he/she is unable or unwilling to maintain the website, at which time the Webmaster will pass on said passwords and access to the new Webmaster.  The Webmaster shall be appointed by the Board.