I. Membership Requirements
II. New Recruit
IV. Squad Level
V. Platoon Level
VI. Company Level
IX. Camp of Instruction
XI. Handling of Company Equipment
II. Elected Positions
III. Candidate Qualifications
IV. Voter eligibility
V. Conduct of Elections
VI. Special Ballot Measures
VII. Special Elections
VIII. Ballot Format
4. Qualifications and Duties of Office
I. Commanding Officer
I. Individual Authenticity
II. Unit Authenticity
III. Camp Authenticity
IV. Field Authenticity
7. Order of Succession
8. Company Assets
I. Equipment Care
II. Loaner Equipment
9. Company Funds
10. Unit Traditions
11. Unit Communications
12. Relief Society
13. Procedure for Unit Meetings
II. Vice Chair
V. Voting Rights of Members
VIII. Motions and Proposals
IX. Amendments to Unit Bylaws
I) Membership Requirements
A) Requirements for membership in the 69th NYSV are simple:
1) Be a member in good standing of the National Civil
2) Submit appropriate paperwork for enlistment in the
69th. (Transfers from other units shall be accomplished
as described in NCWA bylaws)
B) Yearly dues are $13.00 prorated July 1st. Continuing members
who have not paid their dues by March 1st will be dropped from
the rolls, may not participate in events as part of the 69th
NYSV, and their subscription to the newsletter suspended until
dues are again current.
C) Each new member shall purchase an NRA Blackpowder Safety
handbook, at cost, from the Company upon enlistment. This a
mandatory requirement with no exceptions.
D) All members are strongly encouraged to participate in NCWA
activities as often as they can. Officers and NCOs are expected
to attend all official events.
A) All members are to be fully cognizant of all NCWA safety
B) All members are to receive safety refresher training at the
their first attended event prior to taking the field.
C) All members must be prepared to demonstrate basic knowledge
of NCWA safety rules at any time during the season.
II) New Recruit
A) All new members shall receive and study the unit information
packet prior to indoctrination into the unit.
B) All new members shall receive the following instructions
prior to being allowed to take the field:
2) manual of arms
4) firearms handling, operation and maintenance
5) conduct in camp and on the field
C) All new members are strongly encouraged to attend all camps
of instruction and event drill practices to acquire and exercise
their drill knowledge.
D) All new members shall be formally certified as having
satisfactorily understood and demonstrated the above instructions
prior to taking the field. Certification shall be documented per
the attached sign-off list. The list shall be signed by the new
recruit's training corporal, respective platoon sergeant and an
officer and maintained with the unit records.
E) All new members shall proceed on the field for the first time
without loading or firing their weapon in order to minimize risk
to themselves and the members around them while gaining
experience on the order of battle. All new members shall be
allowed to fire up to three (3) rounds during their 2nd
battlefield action upon approval of their platoon corporal and/or
sergeant. After two (2) battlefield experiences, all new members
shall be allowed unrestricted firing privileges upon approval of
their platoon corporal and/or sergeant.
A) All members shall be trained in, and be able to demonstrate,
basic knowledge of blackpowder firearms handling, operation and
B) Firearms handling, operation and maintenance training shall
include the following:
1) firearms terminology
2) proper loading technique
3) proper carrying technique
4) muzzle control
5) proper half cock setting (always from nipple to
half cock, not from full cock to half cock)
6) misfire procedure (wait 60 seconds, re-prime,
re-fire, wait, pick, re-prime)
7) proper placement of rear rank muskets when firing
over the front rank's shoulders
8) proper cleaning and preservation methods
9) wearing of visually unobtrusive hearing protection
IV) Squad Level
A) Squad level training shall be performed with a minimum of
four (4) persons (comrades in battle) plus an instructor.
B) Squad level instruction shall be principally the
responsibility of the corporals and overseen by the platoon
C) Squad level drill shall include, but not be restricted to,
1) School of the Soldier
2) Proper position of firearms when on the firing line
for volley fire (forward, oblique)
V) Platoon Level
A) Platoon level training shall be performed with a minimum of
two (2) squads plus an instructor.
B) Platoon level instruction shall be principally the
responsibility of the platoon sergeants and overseen by the first
sergeant and officers.
C) Platoon level drill shall include, but not be restricted to,
1) School of the Soldier
2) School of the Company
3) evolutions in two (2) ranks
VI) Company Level
A) Company-level training shall be performed with a minimum of
two (2) platoons plus an instructor and fileclosers.
B) Companylevel instruction shall be principally the
responsibility of the company officers.
C) Company level drill shall include, but not be restricted to,
3) Instruction for Skirmishers
4) Selected evolutions of the School of the Battalion
as determined by the Commanding Officer
VII) Non-commissioned officers (NCOs)
A) NCO training shall encompass instruction of the corporals and
sergeants on an individual and on-the-job basis by their peers
and superiors, as required, to assure the NCOs are knowledgeable
and capable in the performance of their duties.
B) Corporal training shall principally be the responsibility of
the sergeants and overseen by the officers.
C) Corporal training shall include, but not be restricted to,
2) basic knowledge of the history of the 69th NYSV
3) basics of the School of the Company
5) firearms handling, operation and maintenance
D) Corporals shall demonstrate their knowledge of the above to
the satisfaction of a board of senior company NCOs and officers
such that they may train unit members in same.
E) Sergeant training shall principally be the responsibility of
F) Sergeant training shall include, but not be restricted to,
3) basics of Skirmish drill
4) basics of School of the Battalion
5) detailed knowledge of the history of the 69th NYSV
7) firearms handling, operation and maintenance
G) Sergeants shall demonstrate their knowledge of the above to
the satisfaction of a board of the unit officers such that they
may train and/or oversee the training of the unit members in
A) Training for the officer positions currently in the unit are
principally self initiated, self taught and exercised on-the-job.
At this time, it is determined to be unnecessary to designate a
unit instructor for these positions.
B) Adjutant (and junior) officer training shall include, but not
be restricted to, the following:
3) expanded knowledge of Skirmish drill
4) expanded knowledge of School of the Battalion
5) in-depth knowledge of the history of the 69th NYSV
C) Commanding officer training shall include, but not be
restricted to, the following:
2) School of the Company
3) Instruction for Skirmishers
4) School of the Battalion
5) extensive knowledge of the history of the 69th
D) Officers shall not have to demonstrate their knowledge of the
above to the satisfaction of any designated unit board of the
69th NYSV. However, they must be conspicuous in their conduct
and execution of the above training subjects as setting the
standards of performance for the unit.
IX) Camp of Instruction
A) There shall be at least one (1) camp of instruction scheduled
prior to the start of the event season. Place and time of the
camp of instruction shall be at the discretion of the CO or his
B) The CO shall have the discretion to schedule additional camps
of instruction during events, extra to events, or post event
C) Training at the camps of instruction shall be directed by the
D) Attendance at the camp of instruction is not mandatory but is
strongly recommended for all members.
A) In order to maintain discipline and avoid debate during drill
and/or maneuvers on the field, authority for the conduct and
methods of drill shall preside with the CO, and subsequently with
the Adjutant, junior officers and NCOs by rank, when commanding
all or part of the unit during drill or on the field. Their
orders shall be obeyed without question, except in instances of
performance of any drill item may be engaged by any member at any
time other than when all or part of the unit is assembled for
drill, field maneuvers or in the presence of the public.
C) Ultimate authority for all conduct and methods of drill shall
be Casey's Infantry Tactics.
XI) Handling of Company Equipment
A) All officers and NCOs shall become experienced at handling
the company (camp) equipment such that they themselves are able
to perform and direct the other members in the proper methods of
unloading, setup, breakdown and reloading of the equipment.
B) All members are requested to assist in the handling of the
company equipment whenever possible.
C) All members are strongly encouraged to become as familiar
with the handling of the company equipment as the officers and
A) Company elections to select Officers and noncommissioned
Officers shall be held annually.
B) Elections shall be decided by secret ballot.
II) Elected Positions
A) The actual number and mix of positions shall be based upon
NCWA Rank/Ratio regulations.
III) Candidate Qualifications
A) Candidate qualification requirements are spelled out for each
position in Section 4: Qualifications and Duties of Office.
IV) Voter Eligibility
A) All members in good standing of the 69th NYSV are eligible to
vote in Company elections. See Section 1: Membership for
description of member in good standing.
V) Conduct of the Election
A) The election shall be overseen by an Election Committee, made
up of One Officer, One NCO and Two Privates, all selected by lot
at a Company meeting before the election, and a neutral party who
shall have no direct interests in the election.
1) The Committee shall be responsible for the printing
and distribution of the Official Ballots.
2) The Committee shall be responsible for counting the
ballots and certifying the elections of successful
B) The October issue of the Company Newsletter shall announce
the upcoming election and invite Candidates to submit their
Campaign statements no later than November 1st. Candidates'
statements shall run in the November Election Issue of the
C) The Election Committee will mail official ballots with
stamped, self-addressed envelopes for return to each member in
good standing of the Company during the last week of November
(postage costs paid by the Company).
1) Ballots must be returned no later than December
D) The Election Committee shall count the ballots and tabulate
the members no later than December 20th.
F) Elected Candidates shall assume office on January 1st.
VI) Special Ballot Measures
A) Ballot measures may be introduced at a Company Meeting prior
to the election by any Member.
B) In order to be placed on the ballot, the measure must receive
at least 25% support at the meeting where a quorum is present. A
quorum is defined as 50% of members in good standing plus one.
C) Any such measure shall be submitted to the Election Committee
for inclusion on the ballot.
D) Pro and Con arguments shall be submitted by interested
members to the Newsletter for inclusion in the Election Issue
along with the Candidate Campaign Statements.
VII) Special Elections
A) Special elections may be called during the year by
introduction of a proposal by any Unit member and agreed to by a
two-thirds vote of Unit members at a Company Meeting where a
quorum is present.
B) Special elections may be called for a variety of reasons.
C) Complete minutes of such proceedings shall be recorded and
distributed to all Unit members.
D) Conduct of Special elections shall be the same as for the
scheduled annual Unit election with dates adjusted appropriately.
VIII) Ballot Format
A) The slate of candidates shall be elected as follows:
1) Company Commander- Majority vote among candidates.
2) Other Officers- 1-X, ranking determined by
percentage of votes received by the candidate.*
3) Sergeants- 1st-X, ranking determined by percentage
of votes received by the candidate.*
4) Corporals- 1st-X, ranking determined by percentage
of votes received by the candidate.*
(* A direction shall be printed on the ballot sections relating to these
offices stating that the voter shall choose an appropriate number of
candidates indicating the order of preference, 1-X, by listing the number
by the names chosen 1, 2, 3, etc. The candidate with the highest number
of 1 votes shall be first and the others will follow similarly.)
4.0.0 Qualifications and Duties of Office
I) Commanding Officer
A) Qualifications for the office of Commanding Officer of the
unit are as follows:
1) minimum of four (4) seasons' experience in the
2) minimum of two seasons' experience as an elected
3) ability to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of:
a) School of the Soldier
b) School of the Company
c) Instruction for Skirmishers
d) School of the Battalion
4) ability to instruct and/or oversee the NCOs in
instructing the unit in all drill and field evolutions
5) ability to instruct all members in drill, safety
and firearms handling operation and maintenance
6) ability to demonstrate knowledge of basic bugle
calls for field and skirmish drill and to instruct unit
in recognizing same
7) ability to demonstrate extensive knowledge of the
history of the 69th NYSV
8) demonstrated exemplary attendance (minimum 75% of
rank ratio events) and active participation in unit
1) General duties
a) serve as chief instructor for all unit
b) schedule all training activities
c) represent the unit, or designate an
alternate, at all NCWA combined board
oversee and husband the unit finances
f) coordinate unit activities with the New
York Irish Soldier's Relief Society
g) be responsible for the general care and
well being of the unit
h) provide leadership in setting unit long
term goals (e.g. scheduling periodic
i) act as chief of the Fenian Brotherhood
j) appoint a unit member as treasurer, with
k) function as a facilitator, not a partisan
2) Camp duties
a) represent the unit, or designate an
alternate, at all officer meetings
b) schedule camp activities
c) oversee and assist in camp layout, setup
and break- down
d) oversee discipline in camp
e) provide approval for living history
3) Battlefield duties
a) provide direction and response for the
unit during action on the field
b) assure the safety and conduct of and by
the unit on the field
c) have the unit assembled and briefed on the
battle plan prior to taking the field
II) Adjutant Officer
A) Qualifications for the office of Adjutant Officer (and other
junior officers) are as follows:
1) minimum of three (3) seasons experience in the
2) minimum of two (2) seasons experience as an elected
3) ability to demonstrate a through knowledge of:
a) School of the Solider
4) ability to demonstrate basic familiarity of:
a) School of the Battalion
b) Skirmisher drill
c) bugle calls for field and skirmish drill
and instruct unit in recognizing same
5) ability to instruct and/or oversee the NCOs in
instructing the unit in all drill and field evolutions
6) ability to instruct all members in drill, safety
and firearms handling, operation and maintenance
7) ability to demonstrate good general knowledge of
the history of the 69th NYSV
B) Duties of Office of Adjutant
a) function as the CO in all required duties
in the absence of the CO
b) be responsible for unit administrative
functions such as attendance, new member
processing, training compliance and
processing and equipment acquisition
a) oversee and assist in camp layout, setup
b) assure camp meets authenticity
c) organize and direct execution of living
a) assist the CO in providing direction and
response for the unit during action on the
b) assist the CO in assuring the safety and
A) Qualifications for the office of Sergeant are as follows:
1) minimum of two (2) seasons experience in the NCWA
2) minimum of one (1) seasons experience as corporal
in the unit
3) ability to demonstrate through knowledge of the
School of the Soldier
a) School of the Company
5) ability to demonstrate recognition of basic bugle
6) ability to instruct and/or oversee the corporals in
7) ability to instruct all members in drill, safety
8) ability to demonstrate general familiarity with the
9) demonstrated exemplary attendance (minimum 75% of
rank ratio events) and activities
B) Duties of the Office of Sergeant
1) General duties
a) first sergeant will function as the
Adjutant in all required duties in the
absence of the Adjutant
b) ranking platoon sergeant will function as
the first sergeant in all required duties in
the absence of the first sergeant
c) direct and/or oversee squad and platoon
d) platoon sergeants to initiate contacting
respective platoon members, with the
assistance of the platoon corporals, by the
second Thursday prior to an event for
attendance and meal head count
e) platoon sergeants to report expected
attendance and meal head count to the first
sergeant by Tuesday prior to an event
f) first sergeant to report expected
attendance to the CO and expected meal head
count to the commissary dept. by Wednesday
prior to an event
g) first sergeant shall disseminate unit
information as required to the platoon
sergeants for further dispersal to the
corporals and members
2) Camp duties
a) assist in camp layout, setup and
b) assure members are informed, available and
ready for all unit assemblies
c) first sergeant to assign fatigue, kitchen
police, weapons cleaning supervision and
provost guard duties as required and shall
maintain a record of who has performed these
duties in order to assure the duties are
rotated amongst the members
a) support the CO in the direction and
response of the unit by assuring commands are
understood and executed by the unit
b) assist in maintaining the safety and
conduct of and by the unit on the field
c) assist in maintaining intervals and
alignment in the line of battle
d) designate when "hits" should be taken
A) Qualifications for the office of Corporal are as follows:
1) minimum one (1) season's experience in the NCWA
2) ability to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the
School of the Soldier
3) ability to train new recruits in safety, School of
the Soldier and firearms safety, handling, operation
4) ability to instruct members in squad level drill
5) ability to demonstrate basic familiarity of the
6) demonstrated exemplary attendance (minimum 75% of
B) Duties of the office of Corporal
a) ranking corporal will function as platoon
sergeant in all required duties in the
absence of a platoon sergeant
b) provide new recruit training
c) direct squad level drill
d) initiate contact of respective platoon
members on the 2nd Thursday prior to an event
for attendance and meal head count
e) report expected attendance and meal head
count to respective platoon sergeant by
Monday prior to an event
f) disseminate information from sergeants and
officers as required
b) check firearms for cleanliness and proper
d) check for exposed farb in camp and dress
e) assure fatigue and KP duties are manned
a) designate "hits" in the platoon, per the
CO's battle plan
b) assist in maintaining the safety and
conduct of and by the unit on the field
c) assist in maintaining order and alignment
in the line of battle
d) assure members retrieve equipment from the
company weapons cleaning detail
A) The office of Orderly is an appointed position by the CO and
carries no additional rank.
B) Qualifications for the position of orderly are as follows:
1) minimum of one (1) season's experience in the NCWA
2) demonstrated exemplary attendance (minimum 75% of
3) ability to write legibly (period handwriting style
C) Duties of the position of Orderly
1) attend and act as secretary at all unit meetings
2) function as the CO's aide at events
3) perform clerical duties and other support at the
request of the CO
A) Qualifications for full membership status as Private in the
unit are as follows:
1) received and read the unit information packet
2) received training from, and has been documented as
having satisfactorily demonstrated basic knowledge to
the platoon corporal, sergeant and officer, of the
a) safety rules
b) authenticity rules
c) School of the Soldier
d) firearms safety, handling, operation and
3) have participated in at least two (2) battles and
have been approved by the platoon corporal and/or
sergeant for unrestricted firing
B) Duties of Private
a) whenever possible, assist with unit
a) whenever possible, assist with camp setup
b) be available for unit assemblies
c) whenever possible, be available for
fatigue, KP and provost guard duties as
military appearance of the camp
3) Battlefield duties
a) assist in maintaining safety and proper
conduct of their comrades on the field
b) take "hits" when designated or
c) assist in policing the battlefield of NCWA
debris, live cartridges and caps
I) Battalion camp layout supersedes unit wishes unless unit camp site is
A) If necessary, the Unit commander or his designated camp site
site and suggest another more suitable site that does not detract
from a proper period camp if at all possible.
B) Period camp layout is to conform to 1863 military regulations
as much as possible unless instructed to the contrary by
II) Friday night setup is preferred but overall camp must be set before the
first assembly of the battalion on an event weekend. Members are
encouraged to arrive Friday to assist in camp setup.
III) All available unit members are to help with setup and take down of
company headquarters tentage and equipage before striking personal
and striking of the company camp.
6.0.0 Unit Standards
I) Individual Authenticity
A) NCWA standards apply as the basic requirements for uniforms
and equipment. Additional unit requirements cover specific
details of the uniform and equipment which are considered to be
important in presenting a unified and correct image of a typical
soldier of the mid-war period to the public. Exceptions must be
approved by the commanding officer.
a) Correct period footwear must be acquired
by the end of the first year of membership.
Shoes must be in safe and wearable
a) If you can wear contacts or safely go
without glasses at all, that is encouraged.
Otherwise small lenses with metal (period if
possible) frames are required. Safety glass
is recommended. Sunglasses are prohibited.
3) Knives, Bayonets, Swords
a) Bayonets are recommended. Bayonets may
not be taken out of the scabbard on the
field. Knives must be in a scabbard and tied
in to prevent them coming out when on the
field. Swords and pistols may only be worn
on the field by officers.
a) A 3-band Enfield, Springfield or
smoothbore (percussion) muzzle loader, is
a) A corps badge may be worn on a hat or on
the breast of the uniform. Excessive brass
is discouraged. A company ID may be on the
hat. This does not apply to dress uniforms.
a) Use of a haversack (black tarred pattern
only) is encouraged. A name and/or company
ID may be stenciled on the front.
by the end of the first year. Company ID may
be stenciled on a pack.
a) Only a federal issue canteen is
II) Unit Authenticity
A) A unit history booklet and documentation on the activities of
the unit should be available at the NCWA information area during
encampments, together with recruiting information.
III) Camp Authenticity
non-period (farb) equipment storage during public
viewing hours. The headquarters tent must remain in an
authentic period state during viewing hours.
1) Any flag(s) should be of a substantiated type and
of a material which gives the appearance of the
appropriate period construction (silk in particular).
1) During public viewing hours, every attempt should
be made to remain approachable. Do not block the
company street. Inauthentic behavior should be kept
out of camp (e.g., smoking modern cigarettes, modern
jokes or actions). Living history first-person
impressions are encouraged if approved by the
1) If you eat modern food, or food in plastic
foods with appropriate utensils is permissible.
1) Even after the public is not present, avoid the use
of electric lighting. Period candle, oil or kerosene
lanterns should be used.
IV) Field Authenticity
A) Safety is paramount. However, since the object is to portray
a military unit, behave in an appropriate fashion when in public
view. Do not argue or be obstructive. People in higher ranks
should accept safety corrections in like manner. Disagreements
should be handled in private.
7.0.0 Order of Succession
I) Order of Succession
A) As a military unit, in general the order of succession will
follow normal ranking order.
B) NCO ranks are ordered by election results.
1) If a position becomes vacant, the next officer or
NCO will move up to fill it. That position is then
filled by the next in line.
2) Low corporal will be filled by seniority from the
pool of qualified corporal candidates.
3) If there are no candidates available, an individual
shall be appointed by a meeting of the officers and
NCOs until such time as a qualified candidate becomes
4) If a position is lost due to rank ratio changes,
the holder of that rank will drop to the next lower.
5) Any excess rank holders who must return to the
ranks will be considered senior candidates for
8.0.0 Company Assets
I) Equipment Care
A) The company trailer should be stored covered with a tarp.
B) All tents must be dry when packed away.
C) Cooking gear must be packed clean.
D) Cleaning supplies should be maintained and kept with the
E) The Adjutant is responsible for ensuring that proper
maintenance of camp equipment is performed.
II) Loaner Equipment
A) A signed receipt is required. Period forms are recommended
and should be available.
B) Gear is to be returned clean and mended. The borrower is
responsible for the gear and for returning it in the same
condition in which it was borrowed.
C) The company orderly is responsible for maintaining an
inventory of equipment.
D) One corporal will be assigned the duty of weapons cleaning
instruction for new recruits and borrowers of equipment after
each day's events. This duty is to be rotated among the
9.0.0 Company Funds
I) Company Funds
A) The treasurer must prepare a report on the state of the
company funds each month (as required by NCWA regulations).
B) A quarterly report must be published in the company
newsletter and submitted to the NCWA.
C) All expenses must have a receipt or reasonable facsimile for
D) Any expense over $100 requires the treasurer's signature and
verifying initials by a company officer.
E) Any expense over $200 must have the approval of a simple
majority of the unit membership present at a company meeting.
10.0.0 Unit Traditions
I) Unit Traditions
(Recognition of members is essential in any volunteer organization.
Succeeding generations of the Company are encouraged to add and improve
unit traditions to further honor Company members. The practices below may
not be documented historically. Rather, they are intended to honor and
recognize achievement by modern Company members in an historically
A) New Members
1) In addition to an information package, all new
members, upon "seeing the elephant," are welcomed to
the ranks as full members with a brief ceremony
appropriate to the occasion.
2) New members also receive a 1st Division 2nd Corps
badge and a sprig of boxwood from Marye's Heights,
B) Veteran Members (two years service)
1) In recognition of reaching this significant
milestone, members are presented an "SNY" belt plate
and cartridge box plate with the compliments and
appreciation of the Company.
2) Historical rationale -- In the early war period,
states were expected to largely uniform and equip
regiments raised as part of their quota for Federal
service. By 1863 much of this equipment was worn out
and routinely replaced. However, original enlistees
may have expressed pride in their veteran status by
retaining and wearing original issue brassware.
3) Eligibility -- Completion of two years membership
in the company with good attendance.
4) Only veteran members may wear the New York state
militia pattern shell jacket.
C) Veteran Members (five years service)
1) In recognition of having reached another major
milestone in our hobby, these veterans are inducted
into the Potomac Circle of the Fenian Brotherhood with
all due ceremony. Fenians receive a tricolor (Irish
national colors) or green rosette with "Erin go Bragh"
button or other appropriate brass device affixed. This
may be worn upon the Hardee hat or breast of the
uniform coat on special occasions such as Fenian Circle
meetings, dinners and dances or balls.
2) Historical Rationale -- Many of the original
volunteers to the Irish Brigade held strong Irish
nationalist sentiments. Many of these men met
regularly (at least through the mid-war period) in
Fenian Circles to discuss their eventual return to
Ireland at the head of a popular uprising. The society
also presented an opportunity for members to socialize
and to that end music, poetry, libations, tale telling
and singing also were part of their activities. The
Fenians were a secret society that was not approved by
the Church. The modern Circle is not a secret society
-- all ritual associated with it is intended only to
further the sense of participating in a historical
3) Eligibility -- Completion of five year's
4) The T-Seach (Chieftain or leader of the circle)
will usually be the commanding officer of the Company.
In case the Company commander is not qualified for
membership, the T-Seach shall be the ranking member of
the Company who is a member of the Circle until such
time as the Commanding Officer achieves 5-year status
or a new Company commander otherwise qualified for
membership is elected.
5) A two-handed Gaelic drinking cup (quaich) shall be
used in the ceremony to induct new members into the
Circle. Names of all T-seachs through the current
chief should be engraved on a plate on the inside of
the box holding the quaich to preserve their memory and
honor their contributions.
6) At his option or upon the advice of members of the
Company, the T-seach may induct into the Circle personspeople
who are not members of the Company, but whose
contributions to Gaelic, Civil War or other related
activities merit recognition. Such memberships are
D) Other Traditions
1) Christmas Party -- A social event open to members
and their families. Usually a dinner, the Christmas
Party also is the opportunity for the Company commander
to recognize members of the unit for special or
outstanding contributions during the past year. The
event traditionally concludes with caroling.
2) St. Patrick's Day Party (the weekend before the
holy day if the day itself falls upon a weekday.)
3) Warrants and Commissions -- All non-commissioned
officers should receive a warrant and all officers,
upon first being elected to commissioned status, should
receive a New York State commission.
11.0.0 Unit Communications
A) Effective internal communication is essential for the
well-being of any volunteer organization. "Mionsceala" (A Little
Bit of News, or the Gaelic equivalent of "newsletter") is the
official voice of the company. It is published at least eight
times a year.
1) The Company commander, as the elected
representative of all members of the company, functions
as the newsletter publisher and is the final arbiter
regarding all matters having to do with publication of
2) The editor is selected for an indefinite period
from volunteers and serves at the pleasure of the
Company Commander. The editor will work in close
cooperation with the Company commander.
3) The editor should possess good communications
skills (an ability to write effectively, some technical
skills such as page design and layout etc.) Possession
of the technical means of publishing the newsletter are
a plus in selecting a new editor.
4) The editor will strictly refrain from making any
editorial comment in or after any contribution to the
periodical by members except in response to questions
raised in letters to the editor where corrections,
information or clarifications are necessary .
5) All articles or columns must be signed. Opinions
expressed are strictly those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the Company or the
National Civil War Association.
6) Unit members are encouraged to contribute articles
that will advance the knowledge of their fellows in the
history, equipage, social or political attitudes of
members of the Irish Brigade of 1863 or other subjects
appropriate to our historical impression. As many
articles as possible will be used in each issue.
However, members must understand that space
limitations may preclude use of all submissions
immediately upon receipt.
7) Controversy should not be avoided in published
articles. However, controversy should focus on
historical issues. Contemporary issues will be
resolved as politely as possible -- all members of the
Company are strictly urged to remember the feelings of
their colleagues and to offer or accept comments in the
spirit of brotherhood and mutual improvement.
8) A publication schedule for the Mionsceala will be
published in each issue indicating deadlines for
receipt of material and publication dates. Publication
dates should generally correspond with events and be
planned to allow sufficient time for the publication
to reach members no less than 7-10 days before a major
NCWA or Company event.
9) As the NCWA is a not-for-profit educational
corporation, the newsletter will not accept paid
advertising or be used for commercial purposes, but
will be sustained solely through member dues.
10) Consistent with NCWA bylaws, the newsletter will
not endorse political candidates or issues.
11) Non-military members and private individuals may
subscribe to the Mionsceala (cost to be determined by
B) Telephone Trees
1) The Telephone Tree is intended to advise Company
members of last minute information regarding major NCWA
events, get a head count of individuals attending for
military and meal planning purposes and assist members
in preparing for an event .
2) The 1st Sergeant will organize and initiate a
telephone tree calling system to reach all members of
the Company in good standing prior to major NCWA or
Company events. With their election, platoon sergeants
and corporals accept the responsibility for contacting
the members of their units.
3) Non-military members of the Company (e.g. cadets)
need not be called. It is assumed that they receive
sufficient information on events through the NCWA
Dispatch and/or Mionsceala.
C) Special Notification
1) From time to time special occasions warrant short
notice communications to all members in good standing.
The Company commander may authorize such
communications by telephone, direct mailing or other
means at the unit's disposal.
1) The Company commander or his designee shall have a
supply of recruiting and NCWA informational materials
available at the Company Headquarters and NCWA
information area for distribution to members of the
public inquiring about NCWA or Company membership.
12.0.0 Relief Society
I) The New York Irish Soldiers' Relief Society
A) Historical Rationale -- Soldiers of both sides were served
with immeasurable love and devotion by state relief societies and
organizations such as the Cooper Union Saloon and U.S. Sanitary
Commission. The NYISRS was created as the first such
organization in the NCWA and acknowledged the particular
contributions of women to the morale of soldiers in the field.
Establishment of the organization created an appropriate
historical context at events for the family and guests of Company
members also wishing to participate in NCWA activities.
B) It was with pride that Company A of the 69th New York State
Volunteers watched the NYISRS grow from an adjunct of our unit
into an independent unit of the NCWA. While the units are
separate organizationally, the Company acknowledges the special
bond between the two and pledges to assist the Society in the
spirit of Victorian gentlemanliness and chivalry.
13.0.0 Rules of Procedure for Unit Meetings
A) To be the Commander of the 69th N.Y.S.V., a recognized unit
of the N.C.W.A.
B) Powers of the Chairman.
1) Chairs meeting, rules on points of order and
C) Has only one vote in Unit meetings and that is to be a tie-
D) Determines when and where meetings are to occur provided time
and location are reasonable to allow members reasonable access to
E) Ensures meetings are executed in a timely manner.
A) In absence of the Chairman, the second in command of the unit
has same powers.
A) To be appointed by the Chairman. Responsible for keeping
minutes of the meeting and submitting same to the editor of the
unit newsletter in a timely manner.
A) Simple majority of unit members (i.e., one-half of total
members plus one) to constitute a quorum.
V) Voting and Voting Rights of Members
A) Unit members must be at least 15 years old and shall have one
(1) vote on unit matters.
B) If unit member cannot be present at a meeting, a proxy may be
1) Proxies must be in writing, signed and dated.
NCWA) and in good standing with the unit.
3) Proxies must be submitted before voting.
C) Method of voting shall be by a show of hands.
D) Majority based on "Yes" or "No" votes only. Abstentions only
count for a quorum.
A) Minutes of the previous meeting are to be published in the
next regularly scheduled unit newsletter.
A) Agenda for a unit meeting is to be published in the unit
newsletter before the next scheduled meeting.
B) Chairman presents the agenda. Approval is by a majority
A) Motions require a second before a discussion and vote.
B) Proposals must be in writing and submitted to the chairman
for inclusion in the agenda before the next scheduled meeting of
C) Proposal may be withdrawn before voting if both proposer and
second agree. However, this will not apply to ballot measures or
D) Proposal fails if vote is equally divided and no tie-breaker
exists or is cast.
E) Motions or proposals may only be amended during discussion by
consent of proposer.
IX) Amendments to Unit Bylaws
A) A written proposal is required to amend, suspend or add a
rule to the bylaws of the unit.
B) Any proposal to amend, suspend or add a rule to the unit
bylaws requires a first reading of the proposal which shall then
be tabled until the next scheduled meeting of the unit. The
second reading can be discussed and voted on. Majority passage
of proposal will, at that time constitute acceptance of the