Constitution and By-Laws of the Soldier’s Lyceum, 11th N.Y. Independent Battery

11th Independent Battery
Constitution And By-Laws Of The Soldier’s Lyceum
Transcribed By Brendan Murphy

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Camp Near Brandy Stat
Hd. Qtr. 11th NY Battery
April 24th 1864

Col. S.S. Doty,

Dear Sir,

I have the honor of forwarding to you, to be placed in the Bureau of Military Statistics, State of NY, In the name of the members of the Soldier’s Lyceum, 11th NY Ind. Battery,
The Book containing our minutes, Bylaws and Constitution. Also, whatever Orations, Arguments, Poems, or Essays have been delivered during the session, and the posters used on an election . I wish it will meet your approbation. I know it will repay perusal and also show what can be done in this way, even under the (as some would say) “insurmountable difficulties” attendant with a soldier’s career. But there was a will, and we have found a way. It was sent by mail, this day, please acknowledge its receipt.

Yours most respectfully,
Stephen. P. Corliss
The Present Officers are.
President Wallace Robertson, Troy
Vice President S.P. Corliss, Albany
Secy C. W. Kelly


Believing that a Debating Club, organized for the purposes of discussing subjects of general importance is conducive to intellectual and moral improvement; and impressed with the fact that debate and general interchange of sentiments will tend to improve the mind and render our situation more sociable, and mutually profitable; we, the undersigned, do resolve ourselves into a Society, and agree to submit to the articles of the following Constitution and By-Laws:


Art. 1. This society shall be called the “Soldier’s Lyceum of the 11th N.Y. Battery”.

Art. 2. The Officers shall consist of a President, Vice Pres’t, Secretary & Treasurer; to be elected semi-monthly. The Appointments of Critic, Committees, etc. for special duties, shall be made by the President. The Officers shall be elected by ballot

Art. 3. The regular meetings of the society shall be held one a week. Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the President: but never less than ten members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Art. 4. At ever regular meeting of the Society a question shall be discussed, and an essay read and oration delivered. The President shall have designated a week in advance, the orator and essayist. The two latter exercises may be omitted, however, by the Pres’t at his discretion.

Art. 5. The disputants shall open and close the debate, not exceeding 15 minutes in each address; the colleagues shall be confined to 10 minutes. A longer time may be extended them by the vote of the Society.

Art. 6. The Pres’t shall presided at every meeting of the society; decide point of order in proceedings; give his decision on the main question of debate; appoint all committees for special duties, and perform all other duties usually required of a presiding officer. The Vice Pres’t. in the absence of at the request of the Pres’t, shall assume the duties of the latter

Duties of the Sec’y & Treas.

Art. 7. The Secretary and Treasurer shall be a joint officer, held by the same indi- vidual. He shall keep the minutes of the meeting and read at each society meeting the minutes of the previous one. He shall also be the depository of the funds, and disburse them as the society may direct. He shall perform all the correspondence on the part of the society as a body, and make treasurer’s reports whenever the society may determine.


No. 1. Members of the 11th N.Y. Battery can only be received as acting, paying members of this Lyceum. Other individuals may be elected Honorary Members without incurring the above restrictions.

No. 2. New Members can be admitted at any regular meeting who were proposed a week in advance. At the time of the admission, they must be elected by a 2/3 vote, sign the Constitution and By Laws and pay an initiation fee of 25 cents.

No. 3. The Pres’t shall have discretion to fine or reprimand any members for a gross breach of orders or duty. The fine shall not exceed 50 cts, nor be less than 10 cts.

No. 4. Any member who shall absent himself from 4 consecutive meetings of the Society shall be expelled, and his name dropped from the roll; unless he can prove that his absence was strictly unavoidable.

No. 5. The Pres’t shall entertain no voting resolution or remarks from a member who does not arise on the occasion and address the Chair.

No. 6. The Order of Business shall be as follows:

1st. Roll Call & Reading of Minutes by the Sec’y.
2d. Oration and Essay (if any)
3d. Debate.
4th. Special Business
5th. Miscellaneous Business.

No. 7. No addition nor amendment to the Constitution or the By-Laws can be made without a week’s previous notice, and a 2/3 vote in its favor at the time of passage.