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CSS Neuse Free Civil War Program Saturday, November 18

Civil War Naval reenactors will participate in a Civil War history event Saturday.

A day of fun awaits the whole family at the “Life of a Sailor” free program at the Gov. Richard Caswell Memorial site, 2612 W. Vernon Ave., Kinston, Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The program is being reintroduced after an absence following the move of the CSS Neuse to downtown. The CSS Neuse Gunboat Association sponsors the event, which will encompass cooking, cannon fire and much more.

“Do you love the sound of a cannon going ‘boom!’ and watching soldiers drill and fire muskets?” asks Program Coordinator Rachel Kennedy. “We will have reenactors to demonstrate how soldiers trained for battle and the drills they practiced.”

The Carolina Living History Guild reenactors and several historic sites staff will offer demonstrations of many aspects of military and civilian life. These will include navigation techniques, small arms, artillery, steam engines, rope and knot work and Civil War medicine. A 12-pounder mountain howitzer will be available to demonstrate more about Civil War artillery. Musket and artillery demonstrations will take place three times during the day.

Domestic skills will include cooking, spinning, weaving, dyeing and 19th century toys and games. Children and families can enjoy many entertaining activities, so bring a picnic for a day’s outing.

“Do you think people in the 19th century could cook some foods we have today?” Kennedy continues. “The answer is yes, and visitors can see Historic Interpreter Amanda Brantley prepare a full meal and a dessert using 19th century methods.”

Period recipe cookbooks will be available in the shop, and even today many families use cookware similar to Civil War era wares when they go camping.

Toys in the 19th century were made from materials found around the home, including wood, ribbon, handkerchiefs, corn shucks and rope. Come learn about these toys and play with them. You can try your batting and catching skills with a game of town ball, predecessor to baseball.

“I am looking forward to offering our visitors a chance to enjoy a family oriented Civil War program they have not been able to experience for five years,” Kennedy concludes.

The CSS Neuse is the only remaining commissioned Confederate ironclad above water. It was part of a new technology that the Confederacy used to combat the superior manpower and firepower of the Union Navy. Learn about this technological advance and warfare in eastern North Carolina at the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center. The Confederate Navy launched the CSS Neuse hoping to gain control of the lower Neuse River and New Bern, but ultimately destroyed the vessel to keep it out of Union hands.

The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center is located at 100 N. Queen St., Kinston, N.C., and open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: adults $5, senior/active military $4, Students (ages 3-12) $3, ages 2 and under free.

For additional information, please call the site at (252) 526-9600 x223. The CSS Neuse Center and the Richard Caswell Memorial are within the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

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