Stonewall Brigade Bylaws
Revised Through October 2022
It is the intent of this body of rules to make this hobby safer, more authentic, and more enjoyable for all those concerned. We abide by the rules contained herein with the knowledge that any organization of our size must be governed by some body of regulations.
I. BRIGADE LEADERSHIP
a. The Stonewall Brigade (henceforth “the Brigade”) staff officers will consist of; a Commanding Officer, who shall habitually hold the rank of Captain; a First Lieutenant; and a Treasurer, who holds no field officer rank.
b. These officers will be elected each year at the Winter Brigade Meeting. (See Part II, BUSINESS MEETINGS, VOTING AND ELECTIONS)
c. In addition, the Commanding Officer, upon confirmation of his election, will appoint his First Sergeant for the upcoming year.
d. Sections a, b, and c above make up the Brigade Staff who conduct the day-to-day and field operation of the Brigade.
e. The Commanding Officer may also appoint a Brigade webmaster to oversee the Brigade’s online presence.
f. At the commencement of business meetings, the Commanding Officer will appoint one individual to temporarily hold the post of Secretary, who shall have the responsibility to compile meeting notes and send them with minimal delay to the Commanding Officer for dissemination to the Brigade membership.
g. In addition, each Member Company in good standing may select up to one Sergeant and one Corporal who will serve at Brigade Events in the manner described in Gilham’s Manual (See Part IX, BRIGADE EVENTS). Each Member Company will also appoint a Representative to attend business meetings to voice opinion and vote according to the wishes of their company. The manner in which these individuals are selected will be left up to the wishes of each Member Company.
II. JOB DESCRIPTIONS
a. Commanding Officer-The Commanding Officer holds no higher rank than that of Captain, however, if the Commanding Officer is asked to hold a field position by a host unit, that rank will be no higher than that of Colonel. On those occasions, the next most senior officer present will command the Brigade. The Commanding Officer will be the most visible, and the most respected, representative of the Brigade both on and off the field. He should be chosen for his ability as a field commander first, but political skills are necessary, as he is the Brigade’s administrative as well as military leader. He should be thoroughly familiar with the practices and theories of Gilham’s Manual. The Commanding Officer is responsible for chairing all Brigade administrative meetings, providing guidance and leadership to the overall management of the Brigade, and ensuring continued adherence to these Bylaws.
b. Lieutenant-There will be a First Lieutenant, who will act as platoon commander on the field as needed. They should be thoroughly versed in Gilham’s Manual and must be capable of commanding the Brigade in the absence of the Commanding Officer.
c. Treasurer-The Brigade Treasurer will be responsible for the handling of all Brigade finances. He will maintain any Brigade bank accounts, keep accurate records of all financial transactions and issue payment of all debits to the Brigade treasury. In consultation with the company Representatives, he determines the amount of annual dues required each year to cover expected Brigade operating costs (See Part IV, COMMUNICATIONS AND BRIGADE ADMINISTRATION). The Treasurer should be familiar with accounting or bookkeeping.
d. First Sergeant-The Brigade 1st Sergeant will be appointed annually by the Commanding Officer. The duties of the 1st Sergeant will include, but are not limited to; leading daily duties, keeping a roster at all events, forming the company and conducting roll call, conducting dress parade maneuvers, attending Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) calls, drafting reports and records as prescribed by the Commanding Officer, and inspecting weapons. He will have knowledge of all duties of the Corporals and Sergeants and will lead the Brigade in place of the officers as required in addition to his duties as the Brigade’s covering Sergeant as described in Gilham’s Manual. He should be in all aspects the best man on the field, and should command the respect of all on the field as he is responsible for maintaining discipline in the ranks and in camp.
e. Secretary-The Secretary is an ad hoc position appointed by the Commanding Officer during Brigade business meetings. The Secretary will be responsible for compiling meeting notes and sending them with minimal delay to the Commanding Officer for dissemination to the Brigade membership.
f. Non-Commissioned Officers-Up to one Sergeant and one Corporal from each Member Company will serve at Brigade Events in the manner described in Gilham’s manual in the ranks or as file closers. They will also be responsible for leading daily duties and other tasks as assigned by the First Sergeant and Brigade Staff. All NCO’s should strive to set a high example of authenticity and conduct in the field and will assist in the training of newer Brigade members. The Brigade Staff may temporarily appoint individuals to these ranks or ask NCOs to act as a Private as required at individual events depending on the size of the Brigade. No other member of the Brigade will hold a rank above that of Private without expressed consent of the Brigade Staff.
g. Brigade Representatives-Each company will send one (and no more than one) voting Representative to all Brigade business meetings, although additional members may attend without voting privileges. These Representatives will be the only Brigade members to vote on issues at business meetings and no more than one vote will be counted per company. The Commanding Officer will vote only to break all ties, except for elections (See Part III, BUSINESS MEETINGS, VOTING AND ELECTIONS). Representatives will be chosen within their own companies and according to their own Bylaws.
III. BUSINESS MEETINGS, VOTING AND ELECTIONS
a. Elections will be held for Brigade officers each year at a business meeting convened by the Commanding Officer or virtually via written vote. One vote will be accepted for each Member Company in good standing (see Part V, MEMBER COMPANIES/APPLYING FOR MEMBERSHIP). Proxy votes will be accepted from Member Companies unable to send a Representative. The Commanding Officer will take the proxy votes. If a unit votes by proxy, they must notify the Commanding Officer in writing before the election. A simple majority is required to win election and, in the case of multiple candidates receiving less than a majority, a subsequent run-off election will be immediately held between the two candidates with the highest vote totals. In cases of a tie following the run-off, the Brigade Commander will refer the election to a popular vote of the Brigade membership, with the office going to the candidate who receives a majority of votes cast. If the popular vote again results in a tie, the Brigade Commander will vote to break the tie. Elections will be held for the positions of Commanding Officer, Lieutenant, and Treasurer only. Nominations for Brigade officers will be forwarded to the Commanding Officer by a date set by the Commanding Officer no less than two weeks prior to the elections. Following the close of nominations, no additional candidates will be accepted. Positions for which there are no nominees will remain vacant for the following year and can be filled on an ad hoc basis only by temporary appointment by the Commanding Officer as the needs of the Brigade require.
b. An annual Winter business meeting will be held at a time and place chosen by the Commanding Officer. Additional business meetings will be scheduled as needed, as long as a quorum is present.
c. A simple majority is required to pass general actions, choose events, and adopt procedures binding on the Brigade. A 2/3 vote is necessary to amend the Brigade Bylaws, to admit an applying company as a Member Company to the Brigade, or to expel a Member Company from the Brigade (see Part V, MEMBER COMPANIES/APPLYING FOR MEMBERSHIP).
IV. COMMUNICATION AND BRIGADE ADMINISTRATION
a. Communication among the Member Companies is essential to our continued success. The Brigade Staff plays a key role in ensuring this flow of information occurs.
b. The Commanding Officer should receive an updated roster from each company each year. New recruit information should be updated periodically as well as members leaving the Brigade.
c. Member Companies will pay yearly dues to the Brigade Treasurer. The Brigade Treasurer will determine the amount required prior to the Winter Meeting by the dividing the Brigade’s estimated annual expense by the number of Brigade members as reflected in the updated roster submitted by each Member Company. Dues will then be set for that year by a vote of the company Representatives.
V. MEMBER COMPANIES/APPLYING FOR MEMBERSHIP
a. A Member Company of the Brigade is any company that has been voted in after their probationary period for full voting privileges. That Member Company will take a unit designation from the original Stonewall Brigade.
b. Applying for Membership – A company wishing to join the Brigade must have its representatives apply to the Commanding Officer prior to the annual Winter business meeting. If accepted, they will be placed on a one-year probation and evaluated by the Brigade Staff. At this time, the unit applying must notify the staff of the unit designation they intend to adopt in the Brigade. During the probationary period, members of the applying company may attend all Brigade events and can send a non-voting representative to all Brigade business meetings. They will not provide NCOs during Brigade events but are free to continue with their current rank structure at their own events. Members of the applying company must be covered by Brigade insurance and will thus pay reduced membership dues, to be set by the Commanding Officer and Treasurer, to defray the added cost of insurance. After the year probation period, Member Company representatives will vote at the commencement of the next available business meeting on whether to accept or reject the applicants and, if accepted by a 2/3 majority, will immediately accept them as voting members subject to all rules and responsibilities herein. Any applying unit may be rejected at any time during their probationary period by a 2/3 vote of the Brigade representatives.
c. Member Company Responsibilities – Member Companies must strive to attend all Brigade Events (see Part IX, BRIGADE EVENTS), and to be considered in good standing, must participate with the Brigade in at least two Brigade events a year. Only Member Companies in good standing may send a representative or written proxy vote to Brigade business meetings (see Part III, BUSINESS MEETINGS, ELECTIONS, AND VOTING). Member Companies are required to ensure their individual members are in compliance with Brigade Bylaws.
d. Leaving the Brigade – Upon a 2/3 majority vote, a Member Company can be expelled from the Brigade for failure to uphold authenticity standards, egregious violations of the Brigade Bylaws, or behavior that threatens the continued high reputation or existence of the Brigade. Prior to an expulsion vote, the Brigade Staff must take all prudent measures to rectify issues with Member Companies and expulsion should be considered only as a last resort after mediation has failed. Expelled Member Companies may re-apply through the new member unit process. Similarly, any unit that willingly resigns from the Brigade must re-apply through the new member unit process.
VI. UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT
a. Uniforms – Uniform and equipment standards will be adhered to by all Brigade members. A spirit of uniformity should be stressed. Based on historical research, the Commanding Officer can propose changes to the uniform standard via a 2/3 majority vote of Member Company representatives. Members can propose changes to the uniform standards by forwarding proposals to the Brigade staff for their consideration. Specific event uniform and equipment guidelines may be recommended by the Commanding Officer. They should fit the period of the event being attended and should be directed in a timely manner to the Brigade well in advance of the event. The wearing of federal garments is discouraged within the Brigade.
1.Jacket – Members are encouraged to acquire two jackets; an early war-style commutation or Richmond Depot Type I jacket, light grey in color with black trim; and a late war-style jacket of blue-grey kersey in the Richmond Depot Type II, Richmond Depot Type III, or Peter Tait style. The Commanding Officer will specify which of these jackets are recommended for an event for greater uniformity and authenticity. Alternatively, members who wish to purchase only a single jacket have the option to acquire a generic Richmond Clothing Bureau-type shell jacket, grey in color, for use at all events.
2. Shoes – All shoes or boots must be of correct period style, material, and construction.
3. Trousers – Trousers are to be of the Richmond Clothing Bureau pattern in kersey or jean, grey in color. A black stripe along the seam is recommended for early war events. Trousers of British Army blue are acceptable for mid-to-late war events.
4. Headgear: a) Slouch hats with rolled brim; ribbon around base of crown and brim; high or low crown; colors of black, tan, brown or gray; correct period linings are required. b) Kepi (not forage cap) should be of same color and materials as for jackets and trousers.
5. Shirts – Cottons, wool, flannel; military or civilian pattern; with or without collar; cloth of proper colors/patterns to the period.
6. Eyeglasses – Must be of period style and construction. If you are in doubt, please check with the Brigade Staff. 7. Leather Gear: a) Cartridge Box – Black leather; U.S. 1841 (.54 cal.), 1842 (.69 cal), 1855 (.58 cal), Richmond Arsenal copies of these models, or British Enfield pattern are all acceptable. Boxes must have cartridge tins inside. May be worn on either shoulder sling or waist belt. b) Cap Box – Black leather or tarred canvas; U.S. 1850, shield front, Richmond Arsenal copy, or British Enfield pattern are all acceptable. c) Waist Belt – Black leather or tarred canvas; buckle to be VA state (state seal in wreath), plain brass, frame (GA. or serpent tongued), British snake, blackened roller, or square C.S.A. plate (eastern theatre model only). d) Bayonet Scabbard – Black leather or blackened canvas; Gaylord pattern (U.S. or C.S.) or British Enfield style are all acceptable. e) Cartridge Box Sling-Black leather or tarred canvas.
8. Miscellaneous Equipment: a) Canteens – Must be carried by all participants in the field. Acceptable styles include Federal M1858 smoothside or M1862 bullseye; C.S. wooden drum; or C.S. Richmond tin drum. b) Haversacks – Acceptable styles include Federal painted cotton/linen or documented C.S. type. c) Kapsack-to be used as appropriate for the event. d) Blanket Rolls-Blankets, oil cloths, gum blankets, and shelter halves must be of period material and construction.
9. Weapons: a) Muskets and Rifles – Any serviceable three-band musket or rifled-musket document as being used during the war is acceptable, either of original or reproduction construction. Must have a bayonet to fit the weapon and be clean, in safe working order, and able to pass inspection as described in Gilham’s Manual. Two-band firearms are permitted only at the discretion of the Commanding Officer if allowed by event regulations and appropriate for the historical scenario. b) Sidearms – Revolvers are restricted to commissioned officers and must be of period pattern and of percussion ignition. All sidearms must be in good working condition and presented clean and uncapped for inspection. c) Edged Weapons – Swords may be carried only by officers. Knives may be carried by the rank and file and must be of period pattern and secured in sheaths. Bayonets must be carried by all musket-carrying participants and should be serviceable with the weapon they are carrying. d) Cartridges – Must approximate period construction; of paper, string or glue acceptable. Aluminum foil, tape, staples, and similar closure methods will not be allowed. Cartridges should appear to be authentic. No live rounds will be allowed on your person at inspection.
a. Camp will be set up as prescribed by the Commanding Officer at each event, with tenting as appropriate for the time period and scenario being portrayed. Civilian tents will be set up as directed by the event organizer.
b. All members will be clothed in period attire after camp is set up to the end of the event. All civilians attached to the Brigade must be dressed in period dress while attending Brigade events. Vehicles must be removed from camp immediately after unloading.
c. All items displayed in camp must be appropriate to the period and scenario being portrayed. No modern gear, food, clothing, or packaging may be visible during hours in which the public is present and should be limited during all other times.
a. The Brigade will drill from Gilham’s Manual Instruction for Volunteers and Militia. When appropriate to the event and when dictated by Division staff, the Brigade may use additional drill manuals and members should aspire to proficiency in other common period manuals, although the Commanding Officer will make a reasonable effort to persuade Division staff to allow continued use of Gilham’s during these events.
b. Members must attend Brigade drill at the events unless prevented by medical condition. The Brigade will drill at least once per event as directed by the Brigade Staff and as allowed by the event schedule. Those who are at an event and need to miss a drill must request permission from the First Sergeant.
c. Prior to Brigade drill at each event, new recruits will be drilled by an NCO designated by the Brigade Staff.
d. The Brigade will hold an annual Camp of Instruction event, which is an automatic Brigade event (see Part IX, BRIGADE EVENTS). The drill schedule will be established in advance by the Commanding Officer.
IX. BRIGADE EVENTS
a. Brigade events are those events voted on at a business meeting and designated as full-participation Brigade events. Brigade rank structure is enforced only at Brigade events.
b. A Brigade event is defined as an event in which units will make a maximum effort to place as many people on the field as possible. All Member Companies must attend at least two Brigade events each year to be considered in good standing and retain voting rights.
c. Guest participants of Brigade member units at Brigade events must meet uniform requirements. However, the Brigade Staff may grant a waiver.
d. A Brigade Flag may be carried at Brigade events if an appropriate number of soldiers are participating, as allowed by the host unit, and as determined by the Commanding Officer. The type of flag should be determined by the period and scenario portrayed.
a. All members must comply with orders from their superiors at events. The time for complaints is not on the field. Military authority is exercised with firmness, but with kindness and justice. Superiors of every grade are forbidden tyrannical conduct and abusive language.
b. Military courtesies will be observed to all officers at an event, not just Brigade officers.
c. Any non-combatants must perform a correct and needed position to go on the field. All musicians must be functional (must be able to play).
d. Joint associate membership in the Brigade: 1) A member of any individual unit in the Brigade is considered a restricted member of all the other units of the Brigade. Brigade members are non-voting, non-dues paying members of the Brigade’s other units. 2) Brigade members may attend events with other units in the Brigade in cases where attendance is restricted by the organizers to specific units. Joint associate membership allow Brigade members to attend events hosted by sister units, including restrictive National Park Service events in which any reenactors participating there MUST be a member of a Volunteer In Park (VIP) unit. 3) The host unit for an event would be the unit normally attending an event. Officers and NCO’s of a host unit retain command and control of all Brigade members present, unless the host unit voluntarily waives these conditions. Only the host unit’s flag will be flown and only the host unit should actively recruit. 4) Any funds due for event attendance should be shared if payment is variable depending on persons attending above a minimum count; kept in total by the host unit if payment is a set, fixed amount. 5) Brigade units shall retain the right to declare an event closed to outside attendance. The right to close an event allows a unit to retain and develop its own military skills, character, and identity.
e. Brigade members are required to follow any and all event rules and local, state, and federal laws, to include, but not limited to, laws regarding alcohol, illegal drugs, and modern firearms. Failure to do may result in an immediate request by the Brigade Staff for the individual to leave an event and referral of the matter to the individual’s Member Company for resolution.
1. The Brigade does not encourage nor condone the transportation or use of illegal drugs or other illegal chemical substances. Any member of the Brigade who is discovered to have brought an illegal drug or other illegal substance to a Brigade event, introduced it on the event property, or consumed it at an event (on or off the property) will be asked to leave the event by the Brigade Staff. In no way will the individual participate as a member of the Brigade or associate with the Brigade at that event. Determination of the individual’s future status will be referred to the individual’s Member Company unit for resolution.
2. The Brigade does not encourage nor condone the abuse of alcohol by a Brigade member, regardless of age. The Brigade will not take action unless it is a repetition or an incident of such magnitude as to bring discredit upon the Brigade or jeopardize the Brigade’s participation at an event. Determination of the individual’s future status will be referred to the individual’s Member Company unit for resolution.
f. Remembrance: In remembrance and respect of our fallen comrades, deceased members of the Brigade may be permanently added to the morning roll calls at Winter Camp, Camp of Instruction, and as directed by the Brigade staff until the Brigade no longer exists. When these names are called, members of the Brigade will respond: “With Jackson”. Names currently on the permanent roll include:
Lt. Ken Mink, Co A, 4th VA
Lt. Kevin Waindell, Co A, 4th VA
Lt. Doug Dye, Co D, 27th VA
Sgt. Tom Humerick, Co A, 2nd VA
Sgt. Leo Montalto, Co A, 5th VA
Sgt. Dean Ebner, Co D, 27th VA
Pvt. Kit Brown, Co A, 4th VA
Pvt. Scott Brown, Co D, 27th VA
Pvt. John Clarkson, Co A, 4th VA
Pvt. Paul Cooksey, Co A, 4th VA
Pvt. Bill Dennerlien, Co A, 4th VA
Pvt. Dennis George, Co A, 5th VA
Pvt. Kenny Gouff, Co A, 2nd VA
Pvt. Dan Harvey, Co E, 33rd VA
Pvt. Bob Jordan, Co A, 5th VA
Pvt. Roy Long, Co A, 2nd VA
Pvt. Tom Mitchell, Co. A, 4th Va
Pvt. Bill Moore, Co A, 4th VA
Pvt. Cecil Tatum, Co D, 27th VA
Pvt. Bill Todd, Co D, 27th VA
Pvt. Patrick Sheen, Co A, 5th VA
Pvt. John Ward, Co A, 4th VA
a. Brigade Bylaws may be changed by presenting a proposal in advance of an administrative meeting and obtaining a 2/3 majority vote during the meeting. A quorum is required to vote on Bylaw changes and all member units must have been notified of this vote in advance. Bylaws will be automatically reviewed every three years by a committee appointed by the Commanding Officer.
b. All rules not contained herein are left to the enforcement of the Member Companies.