CSS Neuse Presents Free Civil War Medicine Program During BBQ Fest


Food, fun, special events and history will take over the town during the Kinston BBQ Fest Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to classic cars and barbecue, see some of the period physician’s tools at a free medical program at the CSS Neuse. 

Programs on the impact of disease will be presented by Gary Riggs, reenactor and Civil War historian. Disease caused more deaths than combat during the Civil War when disease and infection were spread person to person. There was little understanding about maintaining sanitary conditions to prevent the spread of disease. Presentations at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. will focus on the eight most common wartime diseases, among them dysentery, small pox, cholera and yellow fever. Medical advances during the Civil War laid the groundwork for many modern medical practices.

Several stations also will be set up throughout the museum with information on medical shortages and substitutions, common diseases during the Civil War and various stages of triage. There will be a coloring area for children as well.

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 attempting 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 Gary Riggs at (252) 526-9600 x221. The CSS Neuse Center is within the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. 

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