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“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)
 

Cat Hole

Finishing CSS Neuse

 
 
Cat Hole Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 7, 2010
1. Cat Hole Marker
Inscription. The Confederate ironclad ram Neuse was constructed at Whitehall (present-day Seven Springs) beginning in October 1862. In March 1863, having survived Union Gen. John G. Foster's raid and the engagement at Whitehall the pervious December, Neuse arrived in Kinston and moored on the Neuse River near the foot of Caswell Street to receive its iron fittings and machinery. It was later moved downriver about 100 yards to deeper water near the bridge in front of you, then into a slough for laborers to complete the work. A ship's officer, 2nd Lt. Richard H. Bacot, wrote letters home referring to the docking site here as the Cat Hole.

The riverbank adjacent to the Cat Hole was steep, allowing the ship's machinery to be lowered easily into the hull. Because of the lack of iron and men, as well as other difficulties, it was more than a year before Neuse was ready for service. On April 22, 1864, the new ship steamed out of the Cat Hole toward New Bern ready for action only to become stuck on a sandbar half a mile downriver. According to Bacot, the ship was afloat again in July of that year and returned to the Cat Hole where more work was done on the iron plating.

On March 12, 1865, the ship fired on advancing Union troops after the Battle of Wyse Fork. A short time later, the crew set Neuse afire to prevent
Map on the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 7, 2010
2. Map on the Marker
its capture. An explosion in the port bow sent the ship to the bottom of the river, where it remained until salvaged early in the 1960s. The vessel's remains are displayed at the Governor Richard Caswell Memorial on West Vernon Avenue here in Kinston.
 
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 35° 15.599′ N, 77° 34.983′ W. Marker is in Kinston, North Carolina, in Lenoir County. Marker is at the intersection of South Heritage Street and West Caswell Street, on the right when traveling south on South Heritage Street. Touch for map. Located in a river overlook park with ample parking space. Marker is in this post office area: Kinston NC 28501, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Taylor Wood, CSN (here, next to this marker); CSS Neuse Confederate Ironclad Gunboat (within shouting distance of this marker); CSS Neuse (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Town Of Kingston (about 700 feet away); Lenoir County WW I and WW II Memorial (about 700 feet away);
Markers at the River Overlook image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 7, 2010
3. Markers at the River Overlook
Caswell (about 700 feet away); Harmony Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Kinston Hangings (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kinston.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a map indicating the location of the marker, important streets, and the Cat Hole. In the upper center is a drawing depicting the CSS Neuse under construction (drawing by Bill Ballard). On the right is Lt. Richard H. Bacot's sketches of Neuse and armor plating.
 
Categories. War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
General Location of the Cat Hole Today image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 7, 2010
4. General Location of the Cat Hole Today
CSS Neuse II image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 7, 2010
5. CSS Neuse II
A few blocks north, at the intersection of Gordon and Heritage Streets, is a reproduction of the Neuse.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 9, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,035 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 9, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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