1st Michigan Engineers & Mechanics By-Laws
Article I - Structure
1) All members of the 1st Michigan Engineers must be in good standing.
2) All new recruits will be musters into the unit with the rank of Private.
3) All members must pay yearly unit dues to stay in good standing.
4) All new recruits will be given one year to obtain their full kit. Until then, the 1st Michigan Engineers Ditty
Bag can be used to supply the recruit with gear and kit.
5) All new recruits should go through the Officers and NCOs before purchasing your proper gear and kit.
6) The members will function as one unit in the field when required and at the discretion of the commanding
7) We will not discriminate. There is a place for everyone to participate in the historical re-enactment of
the Unit and the time period we wish as a majority to portray.
Article II Government
1) The Unit will be commanded by no less than the rank of Captain as company commander.
2) The Unit will reflect the highest standards of the American Civil War re-enactment community and to
historically portray authenticity in the conduct, dress, grooming and equipment of all members of the Unit.
3) The Unit will strive to retain its autonomy regardless of organizations it may be part of or join.
4) The Unit will be governed as a democracy under the principle of one member, one vote.
5) Dues paying members shall be defined as those males or females over the age of 15 who wish to take
an active part in the Unit.
6) In order to vote on events, a member must first pay the yearly dues and participate in half the events the
unit attended the previous year for the right to vote. Unit drills count as events.
7) The company commander will have the power to promote or demote any person or rank at anytime he
feels necessary, but only after presenting his recommendation or grievance to and obtaining approval from
a majority of the Unit officers. This will also apply to the dismissal of an individual from the Unit for
Article III Officers
1) Officers in the Unit will consist of the following and will be elected at the annual unit meeting in January.
B) 1st Lieutenant (If needed)
C) 2nd Lieutenant (If needed)
D) Sergeant Major
E) 1st Sergeant
F) 2nd Sergeant
G) 1st Corporal
H) 2nd Corporal
I) 3rd Corporal (If needed)
2) Any new/additional rank must be approved by the unit officers.
3) All officers will be elected by a majority of the Unit. Decision making criteria should be based on the
individuals attitude, participation, and demonstrated leadership capabilities.
4) The presiding company commander will cast the deciding vote in any deadlock situations.
5) The presiding company commander has the authority to appoint an Officer for the unit. i.e. Chief of
Construction, Topography and Surveying.
6) Unit Officers can not hold dual unit affiliations. If the unit attends a specified/elected event, the elected
unit officer must attend and function with his unit. Or disciplinary actions, removal of rank, will be at the
discretion of the commanding officer.
7) The company commander can appoint an Aide de Camp for assistance.
8) Unit officer issues/revisions/articles will be decided by an officer majority vote.
9) The unit officers will designate a unit treasure, which will be responsible for the stated unit funds. The
treasure must supply a unit financial statement at the January meeting and or upon request by the
Article IV Meetings
1) An annual meeting will be held in January at a time and place to be announced by the unit commander.
The primary purpose of this meeting is the election of unit officers and the establishment of events the Unit
will participate in for the year.
2) Additional meetings can be called at any time by the unit commander or
any other member wishing to conduct Unit business as long as there is
sufficient notice given to all members of the governing body.
3) Unit dues for a calendar year are $20.00. All unit dues must be paid to the unit treasurer at the January
unit meeting. Unless a new member joins during the year.
Article V Membership
1) All individuals applying for membership in the Unit shall be on probation for the term of 1 year. Once a
calendar year has been completed, the person(s) will be voted on with a simple majority decision of the
2) For individuals applying for membership whose re-enacting experience is known to the Unit, the
probation period of 1 year can be waived on approval by the governing body.
3) All individuals applying for membership must be 16 years of age in order to carry musket/rifle. And
must sign the unit waiver.
4) All individuals under the age of 18 applying for membership MUST have a parent or legal guardian join
also. They must also sign the unit waiver.
5) All individuals under 16 may only accompany troops on the field if they are a working musician (able to
play drum or fife), flag bearer or orderly. And cannot stay overnight without a guardian.
6) All legal guardians of individuals under the age of 18 MUST sign a waiver at the beginning of the year
that states that the unit IS NOT liable for any actions/injury or loss. And or responsible for the under age
re-enactors disposition while at the event.
7) All Individuals under 18 MUST have a non-unit member has a guardian at a unit event. A unit officer or
soldier will not be responsible for the individual.
8) Exceptions to these age limits are possible at the discretion of the governing body of the Unit.
9) Family members are welcome to participate in events in period attire. Period attire will not apply to
family members who visit camp. However, visitors remaining in camp overnight will be required to be in
10) Every effort will be made for EVERYONE to be in period attire beginning early Saturday morning and
remaining so throughout the event. An exception can be made for children under the age of 10 AFTER
11) No member of this Unit shall approach a member, or potential member, of another unit with the
intentions of recruitment. If the other member shows interest in having a dual membership, that may be
discussed but not initiated by a member of the Unit.
12) Unit mentors will be available for new and prospective members and chosen by volunteers from the
Article VI Conduct
1) All members will abide by these rules and regulations.
2) There will be neither excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages during daylight hours nor any
drunken behavior during public demonstrations of any kind.
3) No alcohol is to be consumed prior to a battle or public demonstration. This is for personal safety as
well as the safety of those nearby. All alcohol will be kept discreet from public view at all times.
4) All members, officers included, will be required to participate in any drills, from brigade level down, at
all events/drills. Those on sick call will be exempted from duty.
5) All members will perform enthusiastically and harmoniously with others, both on and off the field of
6) If a problem arises on the field, it will be taken care of off the field unless it requires immediate attention.
7) All members will be responsible for their own and their dependent behavior and safety.
8) Company property can not be used by any member outside of unit elected events.
9) Company property/equipment burrowed by a unit member must be returned in functional/clean
condition. If the returned item is deemed as in an unclean/un-functional state, then the unit member will pay
a fee for the infraction. Discretionary by the commanding officer.
Article VII - Safety
1) All members must be 16 years of age or older to carry a weapon.
2) All members must have a valid state firearms license to discharge a weapon.
3) The use or illegal drugs are strictly prohibited. Any such use will be reported to the local authorities.
4) An Officer or NCO must inspect all weapons prior to an event.
5) Only 3 band muskets are allowed. The US 1816 Conversion, 1842, 1855, 1861, 1863 & 1864
Springfield Muskets. The 1853 Enfield Musket or any approved 3 band foreign import musket that meets
safety qualifications. (In 1861, the 1st ME&Ms were issued the 1853 Enfield Musket). Officers may carry
other period rifles i.e. Sharps/Hnery/Carbine.
6) Bayonets are never to be affixed except for drill, guard duty and for stacking of arms. And absolutely
never during a battle.
7) Ramrods are not to be drawn on the battlefield unless ordered by an Officer or NCO.
8) No firearms are to be discharged in camp unless authorized by an NCO.
9) Firearms are by no means allowed to be discharged within 25 yards of the opposing forces. Any
discharge of a firearm, within 40 yards, must be elevated.
10) All weapons must be handled as if it is loaded at all times. Never point it directly at an individual.
11) All weapons are to be capped off both prior to battle and after the battle.
12) Make sure your weapon is discharged prior to taking a hit in the field.
13) No unauthorized hand to handcombat scenarios unless approved by the Officers or NCOs.
14) Knives are allowed, but must be sheath and approved by the Offices or NCOs.
15) Knives will NEVER be drawn in battle.
Article VIII -Engineering
1) Any engineering tool used at an event, must be approved by the unit Officer first.
2) All unit members must carry a set of leather gloves for field engineering work.
3) All axes or hatchets must have a leather sheath or cover of some sort to prevent injury.
4) All members must have proper training before use of any engineering tool.
5) Unit members will be designated by the Officer before an event on what tools to use or carry into the
6) Any sharp tools carried into the field must have an appropriate sheath or cover unless authorized by the
Officers or NCOs.
7) Tools will NEVER be used in battle or hand to hand combat scenarios.
8) When an engineering task has been assigned to an officer or an office holder (i.e. Chief of Construction,
Topography and Surveying) the said individual is then designated the officer in command of the
detachment. Hence all unit members involved, including officers, will obey the orders of the office holder
commands for the duration of the designated task.
9) Any fund allocation for new/purchased engineering equipment must be approved by a majority of the
officers. All inquires prior to a purchased must be forwarded to the officers prior to a purchase. The unit
will not be liable for any unit member purchase which is done without the prior approval of the officers, if
the member is looking for a unit fund reimbursement.
Article IX - Camp
1) No modern articles or items are to be visible in camp. Please use a period cover for a modern cooler.
Modern items must be covered and out of site.
2) Any beverage consumed other then from your canteen, must be consumed from a period correct
container/cup/mucket while in camp. No cans or modern bottles are to be seen in camp. Use a tin cup or a
period style bottle.
3) Food for events is each unit members responsibility unless a unit mess is established.
4) Period style camp chairs are acceptable.
5) All members are required to have a plate, cup and eating utensils for an event.
6) Only use period type watches, no wristwatches. Wedding bands are acceptable, but no earrings or
other type of facial ornamentation.
7) Cigars and pipes are acceptable.
8) Please have your cell phones off or on vibrate activation while in camp or the field.
Article X - Events
1) All members are to report any injuries to an NCO or Officer in charge.
2) Let an NCO or Officer in charge know of any physical conditions or limitations.
3) The unit will always have a first aid kit on hand for an event. Fake wounds or scripted battlefield
casualties can be used at events for hospital scenarios.
4) All canteens will be filled at all times. Do not enter a battle with an empty or half filled canteen.
5) All members should always keep an eye on your fellow unit members during and event in case of a
- All by-laws are subject to change upon a majority vote held only during the January meeting -
2020 1st ME's Unit Liability Waiver.