Salvage of the CSS Neuse from the Muck

Salvage of the CSS Neuse from the Muck

On October 27, 1961, Henry Casey, Lemuel Houston and Thomas Carlyle began serious efforts to salvage the remains of the ironclad CSS Neuse from the Neuse River in Kinston.

The first stages of recovery proceeded easily since the river level was low and the weather was ideal, but ultimately the project would take much longer than anticipated.

Local interest was strong and many people came to the site to observe the work of the trio and their fellow volunteers. Donations were collected from spectators, and anyone willing to work was given a shovel. During the next two years financial support continued to pour in from various local and state agencies.

Salvage of the CSS Neuse from the MuckThe ship began to suffer damage from high water, exposure to the air and vandalism making the need to finish the job more urgent. In May 1963, D.C. Murray, a house mover, contracted to move the vessel out of the river and, within a few months, Governor Terry Sanford allocated $10,000 to relocate and preserve the ship’s remains.

The recovery process was completed in 1964 when the vessel was relocated to Caswell Memorial Park, where a State Historic Site was established. Today, the remains of the ship are housed in a museum in downtown Kinston.

Visit: The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center in downtown Kinston. The Neuse is one of the few remaining Civil War ironclads on display.


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