Kinston, North Carolina: Confederate Ironclads: Neuse and Neuse IIOne is the rotted hulk of the original ship, the other is an impressive, brand-spanking new full-size replica, built by local fans of and history buffs.
- 100 N. Queen St., Kinston, NC
- The Neuse II is on the south side of town, on the southwest corner of N. Heritage and W. Gordon Sts. The original Neuse is in the CSS Neuse Interpretive Center at 100 N. Queen St.
- Interpretive Center open T-Sa 9-5 (Call to verify)
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
Visitor Tips and News About Confederate Ironclads: Neuse and Neuse II
The C.S.S. Neuse, one of the Confederacy's ironclad warships, didn't have a very distinguished history. After its construction was completed, it ran aground on its first and only voyage. It returned to its mooring in Kinston, where it was later burned and sunk by its own crew to keep it from being captured by invading Union troops.
It is, however, one of three ironclads still in existence. It was raised from the river in the '60s, and what's left of it, mostly the lower part of the hull, sits rotting in a sort of open-air warehouse in a park outside town. There also used to be a museum at the park that displayed artifacts from the ship, but it was trashed by hurricane Floyd in 1999. There are plans underway to move the ship and the artifacts to a new museum on Queen Street that'll be open in 2007.
Downtown, a group of volunteers is building a full-size Neuse replica, 158 feet long and 40 feet wide, that's been dubbed the C.S.S. Neuse II. Work commenced in Oct. 2002, beginning with the pouring of concrete blocks to support the whole thing. According to plan, when completed, it'll have replicated iron plating and guns as well as fully furnished rooms below deck. When it'll be finished is anyone's guess, but there's been a fair amount of progress since the last time I saw it.[Dean Jeffrey, 01/18/2005]
After years of delay, the original Neuse was finally moved into its new museum in 2012.