This past weekend I experienced the CSS Neuse II, a remake of the original gunboat which served in Kinston during the American Civil War. When I approached the replica upon arrival, I was welcomed by Gary and Betty Hines, two volunteers among many who have helped keep alive the memory of this piece of Eastern North Carolina history.
“You’ve seen pictures of the original, now you can set foot right here and now in what is exactly the same as the CSS Neuse,” said Gary. After climbing the stairs to reach the entrance at the top of the structure, I was kindly greeted by Ray Ott, another volunteer who proceeded to inform me of the importance of the Neuse and other ironclads of its kind.
From there, you need to encounter for yourself in order to obtain the real feelings the CSS Neuse II volunteers have for their beloved gunboat. Allow yourself plenty of time to listen, observe, and learn about this important piece of American history which still affects us today. At least, take the time to read the signs in the pictures posted here to give yourself an idea what to expect when you visit this site in Kinston. There is no cost for admission and it is operated strictly on donations and volunteer efforts.
It will be well worth your time – it was mine!