Are you a history lover of the American Civil War? Then you’ll have to make a stop during your visit to Kinston, NC to the museum of the CSS Neuse.
The CSS Neuse was a steam-powered ironclad ram of the Confederate States Navy that served in the latter part the war. Construction on the ironclad began in October 1862 along the banks of the Neuse River. The CSS Neuse is 158 feet long by 34 feet wide and is made primarily of pine with 4-inches of oak backing her 4-inch-thick wrought-iron armor. Due to the shortage of iron plates during this part of the war, the Neuse became first of several Southern ironclads built with unarmored decks.
CSS Neuse began to patrol the inland waters of North Carolina in April 1864. Due to lack of experienced crew, the ship never traveled more than a mile west and east of Kinston, NC.
In March 1865, Kinston was under attack from the Union, so the crew of the Neuse scuttled her off the coast of Kinston out of fear of capture. It would be nearly a century later before she would be discovered again. In 1963, nearly 15,000 shipboard artifacts were recovered. The discovery of the CSS Neuse makes it one of four salvaged Civil War-era ironclad wrecks.
A visit to the museum in Kinston will not only provide you the opportunity to get up close to the ship but will also give you a chance to see the role the Confederate Navy played in the war. This museum is one of the few Civil War museums I have visited that highlights this specific aspect of the war.