DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE
SONS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR
ARTICLE I – Organization
This Department shall be constituted and remain constituted as provided by the Constitution and Regulations (C & R) governing the National Organization, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and shall be known as the DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE, SONS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR.
The department is organized as an unincorporated association under the laws of the State of Tennessee. The organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future tax code.
ARTICLE II – Activities not in furtherance of exempt purposes
No part of the net earnings of any part of this unincorporated association shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers or other private persons, except that the unincorporated association shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes described in section 501(c)3 of the federal tax code. No substantial part of the activities of the unincorporated association shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the unincorporated association shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these by-laws, the unincorporated association shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an unincorporated association exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future Federal tax code, or (b) by an unincorporated association, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)2 of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
ARTICLE III – Meetings
Section 1: The Encampment of the Department of Tennessee shall be held annually.
Section 2: In the event of the failure to fix the time and place of the Annual Encampment before July 1st, the same shall be determined by the Department Commander, Department Secretary, Department Treasurer, and the members of the Department Council, by a majority vote of those present at the meeting duly called by the Department Commander at least 30 days prior to July 1st in any year.
Section 3: It shall be the duty of the Department Secretary to issue a draft of the minutes of the Departmental Encampment to the elected and appointed officers of the Department, all Camp Commanders, and all Brothers in attendance at the Departmental Encampment within 30 days of the formal conclusion of the Departmental Encampment. This draft may be issued either electronically or by United States postal service.
Section 4: Special meetings of the Department may be called by the Department Commander, with the consent of the Department Council, and shall also be convened by the Department Commander upon the petition of a majority of the Camps, approved by their Brothers; provided that not less than fifteen (15) days’ notice of said meeting shall be given each Camp, but no business shall be transacted at any special meeting other than for which it was called and the call for all special meetings shall state the object and purpose of same.
ARTICLE IV – Officers and their Duties
Section 1: The elected officers of the Department shall be as follows: Commander, Senior Vice Commander, Junior Vice Commander, three (3) members of the Council, Secretary/Treasurer and an Assistant Secretary/Treasurer. All terms, except for the Department Council, will be for one year, or until their successors are duly elected and installed. Terms for members of the Department Council will be two years. The Commander, Secretary/Treasurer, or Assistant Secretary/Treasurer shall not serve on the Department Council. The most recent Past Department Commander shall join the Department Council. The above-named elected officers shall all be Brothers of the Department of Tennessee and shall meet the requirements and perform their duties as detailed in the C & R.
Section 2: The Department Commander, after his election, shall appoint all other officers for a term of one (1) year as per the C & R. The appointed officers shall include, but not be limited to the following: Chief of Staff, Patriotic Instructor, Chaplain, Counselor, Department Camp Organizer, Historian, Guide, Color Bearer, Guard, Graves Registration Officer, Aide, and any other positions required by the C & R, these Bylaws and/or the Order’s ceremonials and Ritual. The appointed officers shall all be Brothers of the Department of Tennessee and shall perform the duties as specified by the C & R, Ritual, Department Bylaws, and/or the orders of the Department Commander.
Section 3: If a vacancy should occur in any elected office, the Department Council shall convene and, by a majority vote of said Council, elect some Brother of the Department of Tennessee to fill said vacancy until the next Department Encampment. If a vacancy should occur in any appointed office, the Department Commander may appoint another Brother of the Department of Tennessee to fill said vacancy until the next Department Encampment. The removal from office of any elected or appointed officer for misconduct of duty shall be as provided by the C & R and Department Bylaws.
Section 4: It shall be the duty of the Department Commander and Department Secretary, jointly, to make arrangements for temporary Headquarters and place of meeting for the Annual Department Encampment.
Section 5: All officers of the Department (elected and appointed) shall upon their retirement from office turn over to their successor all property of the Department within ten (10) days after leaving office.
Section 6: Pursuant to the C & R a sufficient number of Brothers of the Department of Tennessee shall be elected as Delegates and Alternates to attend and represent the Department of Tennessee at the Annual National Encampment of the Order. Said election shall occur at the Annual Department Encampment. All other Brothers in good standing at time of the Annual National Encampment may serve as alternates should an elected Delegate not be able to attend. If there are more willing Alternates than openings, the Department Commander shall determine which Brothers will be the Alternate(s).
Section 7. The Department Secretary/Treasurer shall ensure that following individuals have signatory access to the Department Accounts: the Council member who has most recently joined the Council of Administration and the Assistant Secretary/Treasurer within four (4) business weeks of assuming office. Copies of the details of Department accounts including Banking Institution, account numbers, etc. shall be provided to everyone having signatory access as well as the Department Commander.
ARTICLE V – Authorized Expenditures
Section 1: The Department Commander may be entitled to reimbursement of certain expenses necessary for the conduct of his office. Approval of reimbursement for expenses up to a maximum of fifty dollars ($50) per year shall be obtained from the Department Council. Typical expenses may include but are not limited to, long distance telephone calls, postage, and mileage.
Section 2: The Department Secretary may be entitled to reimbursement of certain expenses, up to a maximum of fifty dollars ($50) per year necessary for the conduct of his office provided that a written request is presented to and approved by the Department Commander. Typical expenses may include, but are not limited to, long distance telephone calls, postage, and mileage.
Section 3: The Department Treasurer may be entitled to reimbursement of certain expenses, up to a maximum of fifty dollars ($50) per year necessary for the conduct of his office provided that a written request is presented to and approved by the Department Commander. Typical expenses may include, but are not be limited to, long distance telephone calls, postage, and mileage.
ARTICLE VI – Department Council
Section 1: The Department Council shall meet after their installation and elect a Chairman, and Secretary. All Past Department Commanders will be asked to serve one, two-year term as a member of the Department Council, upon leaving office. The Department Council shall have charge and supervision of all investments of funds and property of the Department. They shall convene no later than the morning of first day of the Department Encampment for the purpose of a full audit of the Department books and accounts, and accounting for all Department property; and to review a budget, prepared by the Department Treasurer, for the upcoming year; and for the consideration of such other business as may be brought to its attention.
Section 2: The Department Treasurer shall have all necessary books, papers, etc., at the time and place designated and shall render assistance in making said audit. Failure to comply without just cause or prior arrangements may result in disciplinary measures as set forth in the C & R and Department Bylaws.
ARTICLE VII – Reports
Section 1: The Department Commander and all Department Officers shall present an annual report in writing at the annual Department Encampment.
Section 2: The Department Secretary shall make and keep a record of the Proceedings of the Department Encampment, and shall make a regular report of the correspondence received and sent and other activities as required by his office and to make such report to the Department Commander as often as required by the C & R and such special report as may be deemed necessary by the Department Commander and/or Department Council.
Section 3: The Department Treasurer shall make and keep a record of the finances of the Department, stating the’ total receipts, expenditures, and. balances on hand to the Department Encampment, and to make such report to the Department Commander as often as required by the C & R, and such special. reports as may be deemed necessary by the Department Commander and/or Department Council.
Section 4: The above specified regular reports shall be embodied in the next Department Order by the Department Commander as soon as possible after receipt of same.
ARTICLE VII – Camp Charter Fees and Per Capita Tax
Section 1: The Charter fee for new Camps (full and provisional) shall be twenty-five dollars ($25) and shall be paid before approval of the Charter by the Department Commander. The fee shall also cover the cost of the Camp Packet.
Section 2: The Camp Packet shall consist of one (1) Ritual, five (5) Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War application forms, two (2) transfer forms, two (2) charter application forms, two (2) organizer’s report forms, one (1) Department Bylaws, one (1) Constitution & Regulations, one (1) Document entitled, “Job Descriptions for Department and Camp Officers, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War,” and a listing of the current Camps and Officer’s within the Department.
Section 3: The Per Capita Tax for the ensuing year shall be fixed at the annual Department Encampment.
Section 4: Camps shall be exempt from Department Per Capita Tax assessment on Real Sons, Life Members, and Juniors.
ARTICLE IX – Committees
Section 1: The standing Committees of the Department shall be as follows: Bylaws, Legislative, Membership, and Grave Registration & Memorial.
Section 2: Special Committees may be created by action of the Department Encampment and shall exist for the period of time designated in the creation thereof. Duties and responsibilities shall be simultaneously defined.
Section 3: The Department Standing Committees shall, except as where otherwise noted, consist of a maximum of five (5) Brothers of this Department in good standing within their respective Camps. The Department Commander shall appoint the Chairman of the Committees unless otherwise specified.
Section 4: The Bylaws Committee shall be chaired by the Department Senior Vice Commander and shall annually review the Bylaws of the Department and bring to the attention of the Department any necessary revisions. All Camp Senior Vice Commanders will serve as members of this committee.
Section 5: The Legislative Committee shall keep itself informed of all legislation which may be introduced in the Tennessee or other state legislatures of such a nature as to affect the interest of this Order and/or the other Allied Orders of the Grand Army of the Republic or the patriotic interest of the people and may recommend to the Camps, subject to the approval of the Department Commander, any action it may deem advisable or expedient. The Legislative Committee shall consist of the Department Commander, Department Secretary, and three Brothers of the Department appointed by the Department Commander.
Section 6: The Membership Committee shall be chaired by the Junior Vice Department Commander and consist of all Camp Junior Vice Commanders. The purpose of the Committee shall be to put forth proposals and implement programs for the recruitment of Brothers into the Order.
Section 7: The Graves Registration & Memorial Committee shall seek and identify all graves of Civil War veterans and all monuments, memorials, etc., dedicated to Civil War veterans and the Grand Army of the republic within the boundaries of the Department of Tennessee. The Committee shall bring to the attention of the Department any disrespect or lack of attention shown to any Civil War grave or memorial. The Department Chaplain along with the Department Graves Registration Officer will Co-Chair this committee. All Camp Chaplains and Graves Registration Officers will serve on this committee.
ARTICLE X – Camps
Section 1: The Department Commander may annually inspect each Camp for the purpose of ascertaining the condition of same.
Section 2: The use of ritualistic ceremonies in the conducting of regular Camp meetings is encouraged of all Camps.
Section 3: The initiation of candidates into the Order is encouraged to be done as per the Ritual of the Order at a regular Camp meeting.
Section 4: Camps are encouraged to meet at least quarterly throughout the year in regular Ritual session.
ARTICLE XI – Department Camp-at-Large
Section 1: While applicants are encouraged to join Camps in their local areas, authorization is provided for the establishment of a Department Camp-at- Large within the Department of Tennessee to accommodate Brothers of the Order who do not reside within a reasonable distance of a local Camp.
Section 2: The Department Commander shall appoint a Department Camp-at- Large Coordinator for the Department Camp-at-Large. He will perform the duties generally associated with a Camp Secretary for this Camp. Applications for membership shall be directed to him and he shall accept or reject the same, keeping a record of such Brothers.
Section 3: All fees and dues collected by the Department Camp-at-Large Coordinator shall be forwarded to the Department Treasurer. The Department Treasurer shall maintain the funds or this Camp as a liability account in the General Fund of the Department. The Department Treasurer shall remit per capita payments based on the membership report of the Department Camp-at- Large Coordinator.
Section 4: Membership fees shall apply to Department Camp-at-Large Brothers in the same ‘manner as for Brothers in a local Camp. Annual dues for the Department Camp-at-Large shall be set yearly by the Department Council.
Section 5: All Brothers with National Membership-at-Large status within the boundaries of the Department of Tennessee shall be encouraged to transfer into a Camp within the Department of Tennessee.
ARTICLE XII – Associates
Section 1: Associates may be enrolled only into existing Camps within the Department pursuant to the Order’s C & R.
Section 2: The Associate applicant shall observe all procedures of application, membership, and dues structures as the Member applicant.
Section 3: A rejected applicant for Associate enrollment shall not be eligible to apply again for Associate enrollment until six (6) months have elapsed after such rejection.
Section 4: Associates will enjoy all of the privileges of membership including the right to vote at Camp and Department functions and the right to hold all offices at the Camp and Department level.
ARTICLE XII – Elections and Installations
Section 1: The Camps of this Department shall elect Camp Officers between the first regular meeting of the Camp during the month of October and the first meeting of December, inclusive; said elections shall conform to regulations established by the C & R.
Section 2: The Camps of this Department shall install Camp Officers between the first regular meeting of the Camp in November and January, inclusive. Said installation shall conform to regulations established by the C & R and shall be performed by proper authority, the Department Commander or his designee or the Commander-in-Chief or his designee.
ARTICLE XIV – Amendments
Section 1: The Bylaws shall only be amended, altered, or added to by two thirds vote of the Brothers present and entitled to vote at any annual Department Encampment.
Section 2: Any proposed amendment, alteration or addition to these Bylaws shall be printed” or typewritten and a copy sent to the Commander of each Camp at least sixty (60) days prior to the annual Department Encampment. The Camp shall take action on same and instruct their delegates accordingly.
Section 3: These Bylaws and any amendment, alterations, or additions thereto shall go into effect immediately after their adoption by the Department Encampment and approval by the Commander-in-Chief.
Section 4: All Bylaws heretofore adopted by the Department, of Tennessee are hereby repealed.
ARTICLE XV – Ritualistic Equipment
Section 1: Camps are encouraged to secure appropriate ritualistic equipment and to use same in the conducting of Camp meetings.
Section 2: Camps are encouraged to provide at least three (3) flags. The first two flags shall be the United States Flag and the Tennessee State Flag. The third flag shall be blue bearing a gold badge of the Order no smaller than 8 x I0 inches centered with the names in gold lettering of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the name and number of the Camp. The size of all three flags and poles, respectively, shall be the same. The fringe on all three flags shall be yellow.
Section 3: The Department is encouraged to provide at least three (3) flags. The first two flags shall be the United States and the State of Tennessee flag. The third flag shall be red bearing a gold badge of the Order no smaller than 8 X 10 inches centered with the names in gold lettering of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Department of Tennessee. The size of all three flags and poles, respectively, shall be the same. The fringe on all three flags shall be yellow.
Section 4: All flags of the Camps and/or the Department shall be displayed, if practicable, at all regular meetings of the respective body, at parades, and when ordered by the Department Commander. Section 5: All Camps and the Department shall make all efforts possible to secure and use the ritualistic equipment provided for in the C & R Ritual and Bylaws, including, but not limited to, station banners, ballot box, altar cloth, seals, badges, etc.
ARTICLE XVI – Awards
Section 1: Authorization for two Department membership awards is provided. The Department may confer an award upon the Camp within the Department of Tennessee that initiates the most new Brothers during the twelve (12) months preceding the Department Encampment. This award shall be designated as the Corporal William H. Bell Membership Award. The Department may also confer an award upon the Camp within the Department of Tennessee that demonstrated the largest percentage of growth during the twelve (12) months preceding the Department Encampment. This award shall be designated as the Private Henry Hoover Membership Award.
Section 2: Authorization for a Department certificate of appreciation award is provided. The award shall be known as the Department of Tennessee Charles Henry Engle, Jr. Award of Appreciation. The award shall be conferred by the Department Commander upon any individual or entity who, in the judgment of a three-member panel appointed by the Department Commander, has through his/her actions, words, and/or deeds significantly contributed to the furtherance of the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic within the Boundaries of the Department of Tennessee. Recommendations for possible recipients of said award shall be submitted, along with a one-page description of the contribution made, to the Department Secretary no later than two (2) months prior to the annual Department Encampment. Recipients of the award shall be publicly announced and a certificate and/or other appropriate symbol of the award presented at the annual Department of Tennessee Encampment. No more than three (3) recipients shall be selected for the award in any one year.
ARTICLE XVII – Discipline
Section 1: The Department Commander shall have jurisdiction over charges made against officers of the Department, except himself, and Camps within the Department Tennessee.
Section 2: Charges may be preferred for violation of obligation, violation of office, or doing anything tending to injure a Brother, Camp, Department or the Order of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Such charges shall be filed in writing within a reasonable time of the alleged violation; a copy of same being delivered to the accused in a reasonable time before the hearing.
Section 3: Charges made against the Department Commander shall be addressed to the Department Council and sent to the Chairman. The Council may then appoint the Trial Commissioner and proceed with a hearing. In cases involving charges against the Department Commander, the Department Commander shall retain the right to ask that the hearing be convened by the Commander-In-Chief rather than by the Department Council.
Section 4: The provisions of the C & R regarding Discipline shall be observed by all levels within this Department.
ARTICLE XVIII – Sons of Veterans Reserve, Camp Guards and Chief of Staff
Section 1: The Department Commander may call upon the SVR Officer commanding within the Department and request the SVR to provide an appropriate appearance and military participation on behalf of the Department.
Section 2: The Senior Officer of any SVR unit existing within the Department, present at any Department function, shall assume overall command of the military aspects of the Department function. The senior officer of each Camp Guard participating in the Department function shall place himself and his Camp Guard under the command of the SVR Officer.
Section 3: Camps may maintain an independent Camp Guard under the Auspices of the Camp. Said Camp Guards shall not be governed by the Standard Operating procedures of the National Military Department, SVR, with the exception that SVR uniform regulations shall be observed by the Camp Guards. The highest-ranking officer of any Camp Guard shall be Captain.
Section 4: Each member of any Camp Guard shall wear upon his kepi the insignia as adopted by the Department. (The Badge for the Department of Tennessee is as yet undetermined)
Section 5: The Department may call upon the various Camps and request that the Camps provide an appropriate appearance and military participation at a Department function.
Section 6: Each Camp with a Camp Guard may regulate the amount of dues for members of such a unit.
Section 7: There shall be no money paid out from the Department Treasury to any source expense or purpose for the SVR or any Camp Guard, unless it is so voted by a two-thirds vote of those present and entitled to vote at any annual Department Encampment.
Section 8: The Department Commander may appoint a Brother of the Department as Department Chief of Staff. Said Brother shall be familiar with both the 1860- 1865 United States Military Regulations and the Order’s Ritual.
Section 9: The Department Chief of Staff shall serve as the liaison between the Department and the SVR and Camp Guards within the Department.
ARTICLE XIX – Inclusion of Other Regulations
Section 1: Included herein by reference and made a part of these Bylaws are the following rules and regulations and any subsequent amendments or modifications thereto: Constitution and Regulations of the National Organization of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and Regulations and Standard Operating Procedures of the National Military Department of the Sons of Veterans Reserve.
ARTICLE XXII – Department Encampment
Section 1: All Past Department Commanders, current and Past Camp Commanders, Department Officers, and Camp Delegates, or Camp Alternates serving in the absence of the Camp Delegates, to the Department of Tennessee Encampment, will register upon arrival at the Encampment with the Department Secretary and shall be considered registered and entitled to vote at the Department Encampment.
Section 2: Present and Past National Officers and Present and Past Department Officers from other Departments, who are not Brothers from Camps within the Department of Tennessee shall not be entitled to vote at a Department of Tennessee Encampment.
Section 3: Only one vote per person may be claimed on the basis of past offices held. Regardless of the number of Camp, Department and/or National offices, past or present, held by any registered Brother of the Department of Tennessee to the Department Encampment, he shall only be entitled to one vote on any issue to come before the Department Encampment.
ARTICLE XXIII – Separation, Dissolution and Disposition of Assets
Section 1: In the case of surrender or forfeiture of the Department Charter, all Department property and assets shall be turned over to the National Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War or to his duly authorized representative and shall become the property of the National Organization, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, an organization exempt from taxes under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Section 2: All property of the Department shall be held for the National Organization, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, as a charitable trust that is held and used for the purpose for which the Order exists. Any such transfer or disposal within six months of disbandment or surrender of the Camp Charter without the written consent of the National Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is prohibited. The property and funds of the Department shall not be divided among its members.
Section 3: In the event the National Organization, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, no longer exists, said property and funds shall revert to the benefit of the first and any remaining organization of the Allied Orders of the Grand Army of the Republic or in their absence, to the holdings of the State Archives of Tennessee.
Section 4: Notwithstanding the above language, upon the dissolution of this organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government for a public purpose.
ARTICLE XXIV – Assignment of Camp Numbers
Section 1: In accordance with the National Organizations C & R, the Department Commander will assign camp numbers to any new camps forming within the Department.
ARTICLE XXV – Juniors and Junior Associates
Section 1: All Brothers under the age of 18 years of age should be accompanied by a parent or person designated as a Guardian (Grandfather or Grandmother, Brother or Sister over the age of 18 years, or Aunt or Uncle) when participating in ANY SUVCW activity. Any parent or guardian attending a business meeting of the department shall not be permitted to participate in the activities of such meeting.
Section 2: At no time will a non-related Brother be permitted “one on one” contact with a Brother under the age of 18. Any interaction with a Brother under the age of 18 must always include at least two (2) Brothers over the age of 18. It is preferable that juniors and junior associates participate in “public” events and activities, whenever possible, to avoid the need for private contact between a Brother under the age of 18 and an unrelated Brother over the age of 18.
Section 3: Any Brother who witnesses or suspects, in good faith, any type of physical, mental or sexual abuse of any member under the age of 18 will immediately report such suspicion to local authorities first and then the local Camp and Department Commanders immediately thereafter.
Section 4: Every Brother over the age of 18 who may have contact with a Brother under the age of 18 should complete training related to protecting children from abuse of any type. Free training is available from the Boy Scouts of America. You will need choose the Youth Protection Training. While this training is not a requirement, it is highly suggested that it is completed to be used as a tool to protect our youth and Brothers.
Section 5: Ultimately, all Brothers must comply with all applicable local and State laws pertaining to child abuse.
Initially Approved by Department: Unknown
Approved by National Commander-in-Chief: Unknown
Initially Approved by Department: Unknown
Approved by National Commander-in-Chief: Unknown
Amended by Department: August 2009
Approved by National Commander-in-Chief: Unknown
Amended by Department: 25 Jun 2020
Approved by National Commander-in-Chief: Awaiting