“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Kinston in Lenoir County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

CSS Neuse

The Story of CSS Neuse

CSS <i>Neuse</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 7, 2010
1. CSS Neuse Marker
Inscription. The Confederate ironclad ram Neuse was constructed at Whitehall (present-day Seven Springs) beginning in October 1862. The unfinished hull survived the fighting there during Union Gen. John G. Foster's raid in December of 1863. It was docked at an area known as the Cat Hole, then outfitted with engines, iron plate, and armament. In April 1864, Neuse was ordered to aid Confederate Gen. Robert F. Hoke in his attempt to recapture New Bern. The vessel ran aground on a sandbar, however, and could not proceed. A month later Neuse was freed and returned to its dock where it remained for ten months.

Following the Battle of Wyse Fork in March 1865, Capt. Joseph Price took Neuse downriver to delay the Union army while Confederate forces evacuated. The evacuation complete, the crew set fire to Neuse and abandoned her. The scuttled vessel sank to the river bottom where it rested for nearly a century. No serious efforts were made at recovery until 1961. For three years, salvagers worked to dig Neuse out of the mud. In 1964, the state of North Carolina took possession of the gunboat and developed it as a tourist attraction and state historic site.

"I felt a wonderful spirit of resignation... as I saw the nose of that engine of death stuck fast in the mud." - Chaplain Henry S. White, 5th
CSS <i>Neuse</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 7, 2010
2. CSS Neuse Marker
Regiment Rhode Island Heavy Artillery
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 16.015′ N, 77° 37.28′ W. Marker is in Kinston, North Carolina, in Lenoir County. Marker is at the intersection of Richard Caswell Grave Road and West Vernon Avenue (U.S. 70/258), on the right when traveling east on Richard Caswell Grave Road. Touch for map. Located in the CSS Neuse and Caswell State Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Kinston NC 28504, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Moving the CSS Neuse (within shouting distance of this marker); Grave of Richard Caswell (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ram Neuse (about 600 feet away); Richard Caswell (about 600 feet away); John Taylor Wood, CSN (approx. 2.2 miles away); Cat Hole (approx. 2.2 miles away); CSS Neuse Confederate Ironclad Gunboat (approx. 2.2 miles away); CSS Neuse (approx. 2.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kinston.
More about this marker. Across the bottom of the marker are artist impressions of the career of the Neuse - CSS
CSS <i>Neuse</i> Remains image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 7, 2010
3. CSS Neuse Remains
The armor plate, guns, and engines were salvaged just after the war, leaving the wood structure of the ship intact and buried. However, much of the upper works of the ship were lost during recovery operations in the 1960s.
Neuse under construction, Federal shell CSS Neuse at Whitehall, CSS Neuse covers Confederate evacuation at Kinston,
and CSS Neuse scuttled in 1865. In the upper right is a photo of 1960s excavation of the CSS Neuse.
Also see . . .  CSS Neuse and Caswell Historic Site. (Submitted on May 8, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 8, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 863 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 8, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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