One of North Carolina’s most treasured Civil War relics is the CSS Neuse, one of 26 ironclad ships in the Confederate Navy. The remains of the historic vessel have been moved to a new permanent home at 100 North Queen Street in downtown Kinston.
The CSS Neuse Interpretive Center offers your students a Behind the Scenes tour of the new fully enclosed museum which is climate-controlled to preserve the remaining hull from the 158-foot armor-plated gunboat. They will see an orientation video as well as many of the 15,000 artifacts recovered from the ship. The Neuse Collection gives present day viewers a new insight into shipbuilding and naval warfare during the Civil War.
Constructed during the waning days of the War, the Neuse never saw combat outside of Kinston. Once Union troops had taken Kinston, the crew set fire to the ship rather than having it captured. A huge explosion sank the ship to the bottom of the Neuse River, where it lay for nearly a century. The hull was raised in 1963 and rested at the Caswell Memorial site before moving downtown.