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Confederate Ironclad Ship On Display In Kinston

Remains of the CSS Neuse being moved by truck through Downtown Kinston.
NC Dept. of Cultural Resources

A Civil War ironclad ship used by the Confederacy has a new home in eastern North Carolina.  The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center, now open in Kinston, displays what’s left of the ship.

The Neuse was launched near there in 1863 and was meant to help the Confederate Army along the coast of the Carolinas, but the ship ran aground in the Neuse River, and the army used it as support during an inland skirmish in 1865. 

Operations manager Morris Bass says the Confederacy was losing ground and knew the ship would be lost.

“The river's dropping again,” Bass explains. “They know she cannot go upriver to Goldsboro, so they basically beach her again on the side of the river, they plant powder charges in her, set her on fire, and basically a big hole is blown into her port side, she sinks into the Neuse River and that's the end of her career.”

What's left of the ship was brought to the surface in the 1960s. Bass says it's now on display at the new museum, but many exhibits are still under construction and are expected to open next summer. The state Department of Cultural Resources made a video of the ship being moved into the museum:

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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