03/11/05 — Commemoration of CSS Neuse scuttling scheduled

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Commemoration of CSS Neuse scuttling scheduled

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on March 11, 2005 1:47 PM

KINSTON - The scuttling of the Confederate ironclad CSS Neuse, which was built at Seven Springs during the Civil War, will be commemorated Saturday at 3 p.m. at the CSS Neuse/Richard Caswell state historic site in Kinston.

The boat, built to protect North Carolina waterways from Union attack, was sunk in the Neuse River near Kinston when Union forces approached the area late in the war.

The Neuse was recoved from the river bottom by Lenoir County residents in the 1960s and has been maintained at the historical partk on Vernon Avenue ever since.

The history program will begin at 10 a.m. It will include cannon-firing demonstrations, along with period music by the Carteret Grays.

Confederate navy re-enactors will greet visitors and talk about naval life in the 1860s. Displays will focus on navigation, weaponry, shipboard medicine and more. The 3 p.m. ceremony to remember the vessel's scuttling will include a reading of the ship's roster, followed by artillery firing.

The program is free, but donations are appreciated. Taking part in the living history demonstrations will be several organizations, includinge Ship's Company of Roanoke, the North Carolina Naval Squadron, the Submarine Battery Service, and The Ship's Company of CSS Virginia.

The Neuse/Caswell is is located at 2612 W. Vernon Ave. The program is sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the state Division of State Historic Sites and the CSS Neuse Gunboat Association, Inc.

A replica of the CSS Neuse is being built on Herritage Street in Kinston, about a mile from the park.