Monday, July 22, 2013



CSS Neuse
CSS Neuse
Almost 150 years after taking part in the Civil War, a Confederate warship settled into a new home Thursday with the opening of a Kinston museum in its honor.

The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center will allow people to view the ironclad for free every Tuesday through Saturday. Some parts of the exhibit remain under construction, however, so the whole museum won't open until next summer.

"This is a dream come true for a lot of people here in Kinston, and they've been waiting for this for a long time," said Andrew Duppstadt, assistant curator of education for the North Carolina Division of State Historic Sites.

The Neuse was built late in the war and participated in one skirmish in 1865. It was later scuttled and spent about a century at the bottom of the Neuse River. "When my dad was a little boy, this boat was still in the Neuse River, and when the river would get really down low, he and his friends would go actually play on it. They'd swim around it and play on it," said Nancy Parks, a Lenoir County resident.

The ship was brought to the surface in the 1960s, and it spent the past few decades on display at an outdoor location in Kinston. The museum will allow better preservation of the artifact. "We're just glad now that it's found a good home where it can be safe," Parks said.

State officials also dedicated a highway marker to the CSS Neuse in front of the Lenoir County Courthouse, about a block from the museum. "It's real exciting to be able to have it in here finally," Duppstadt said.