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Department Bylaws


The Rhode Island Department

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War




                We, the descendants of Soldiers, Sailors, or Marines who served in the Army, or Navy, of the United States of America during the War of Rebellion of 1861 to 1865, have formed this patriotic and fraternal order, for the purpose and objects in the Constitution set forth, and in doing so, pledge ourselves to commemorate our fathers’ deeds, to render loyal services to our Country and to promote the maintenance of unqualified American citizenship with respect and honor to the Flag.


Article I


                This organization shall be known as the RHODE ISLAND DEPARTMENT, SONS of UNION VETERANS of the CIVIL WAR and shall be under the supervision of the Department Encampment.

Article II


                To perpetuate the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the men who served the Union from 1861 to 1865, to assist in every practical way in the preservation and making available for research of documents and records pertaining to the Grand Army of the Republic and its members, to cooperate in doing honor to all those who have patriotically served our country during any war, to teach patriotism, and the duties of citizenship, the true history of our country, and to love and honor of our flag; to oppose every tendency or movement that would weaken loyalty to, or make for the destruction or impairment of our constitutional Union; and to inculcate and broadly sustain the American principles of representative government, of equal rights, and of impartial justice for all.


Article III


Section 1: The Officers of the Department shall be the Commander, Senior Vice Department Commander, Junior Vice Department Commander, Department Secretary, Department Treasurer (or Department Secretary/Treasurer), three (3) members of the Department Council, and the Delegates and Alternates to the National Encampment, who shall be elected annually.  The Department Commander shall make appointments for the following positions: Department Patriotic Instructor, Department Chief of Staff, Department Archivist/Historian, Department Chaplain, Department Counselor, Department Graves Registration Officer, Department GAR Highway Officer, Department Civil War Memorials Officer, Department Membership List Coordinator, Heritage Hall of Fame Officer and any other position proscribed in the Constitution & Regulations of the order or any other aides or committee chairman as the Department Commander deems necessary. In addition, the Department Commander will appoint a standing Bylaws Committee, to be chaired by the Department Counselor. Camps will nominate one Brother from each Camp; however, appointment and Committee makeup are at the discretion of the Department Commander.

 Section 2: All Department officers, appointees and committee chairman shall provide regular reports as proscribed by the Department Commander in the format designed by the Department Chief of Staff, and shall perform such duties as listed in the Constitution & Regulations of our order and any other duties as may be enjoined by the Department Commander.

  1. Heritage Hall of Fame Officer – Job Description: To coordinate, through the Department Secretary, the forwarding, in a timely fashion, of any nominations received from Camps or Brothers at the Department Encampments to the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame, and to check these to insure eligibility requirements are met prior to submitting.

 Section 3: The Commander-in-Chief and the Department Commander shall have the power to remove any officer of the Department who is delinquent in and failing to fulfill the duties of his office.


Article IV


                The annual meeting of the Department shall be held in the month of April and shall be known as the Department Appomattox Day Encampment. Within 60 (Sixty) days after the Encampment, the Department Secretary, with the approval of the Department Commander, will publish the minutes of the Encampment and disseminate a copy to each Camp Commander. Special meetings of the Department may be called following the rules set forth in the Constitution & Regulations of the order.


Article V


                Section 1: The Charter fee for a new Camp shall be twenty-five dollars ($25.00) and said shall be paid to the Department and shall accompany the application and the reinstatement fee for a suspended Camp shall be $15.00.

                Section 2: Each Camp shall regulate its dues, fees for revenues, provided that the minimum dues shall be sufficient to cover the per capita tax on each member of the Camp.


Article VI


A Camp one-year or more in arrears in payment of the per capita tax, and failing to forward reports, may be disbanded, and the Charter revoked as provided in Chapter 1, Article 1, Section 5 of the Constitution and Regulations.


Article VII


                The Bonds of the Department Secretary and Treasurer shall be arranged by the Department Commander and the Department Council and the amount to be not less than two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00) for each office.


Article VIII
Past Commander’s Badge


At the expiration of the term of each Department Commander, the Department shall, upon approval of the Department membership and if finances allow, present to the past Department Commander the appropriate badge of honor.


Article IX


          Section 1: These by-laws may be amended or added to at the Department Encampment, providing that a copy of any proposed addition or amendment is sent to the Commander of each Camp at least thirty days in advance to such meeting. 

          Section 2: These by-laws and any additions or amendments thereto shall go into effect immediately upon their approval by the Commander-in-Chief.


Article X


            Section 1: The Department shall publish a Department Newsletter which shall be the responsibility of the Department Senior Vice Commander. The publication shall be quarterly, on January 15th, April 15th, July 15th and October 15th, unless otherwise directed by the Department Commander. All material for inclusion shall be submitted to the Department Senior Vice Commander or his representative, prior to January 1st, April 1st, July 1st and October 1st. The Department treasury shall cover the costs of materials and postage.


Article XI
Department Property


            Section 1: Archives; Any and all archival material in the possession of the Department of Rhode Island, Camps within the Department or any other entity authorized for the safe storage or warehousing of said archives are the property of the National Organization, as prescribed in the Policy on the Use of the Deed on Conveyance, dated June 2000. All Brothers in the Department of Rhode Island have the right to view any archival material in the possession of the Department of Rhode Island, Camps within the Department or any entity authorized for the safe storage or warehousing of said archives.

            Section 2: No archival material may be removed from its stored location without the approval of the Department Membership at the Department Encampment, except under emergency conditions, where the Department Archivist/Historian, with the approval of the Department Commander, is authorized to remove archival material to a temporary, secure location not his residence or workplace, until a permanent storage location is obtained. No archival material may be stored at any location other than that approved by the Department Membership at the Department Encampment, or the Department Commander at other times. 


Article XII


          Section 1: The Department recognizes the Membership Classes and Associates as established in the Constitution and Regulations of the Order. 

          Section 2: All Camps within the Department may amend their Camp By-Laws and establish Associates and/or Junior Associates. Camps may impose further restrictions in accordance with the provisions of the Department By-Laws and provided that the rights established by the National Regulations may not be altered, reduce, or vacated. 

These Department By-Laws of the Department of Rhode Island, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War are hereby approved.

Revised and Adopted by the Department Encampment April 8, 2017

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