A Walk Through Christmas Past at the CSS Neuse

CSS Neuse presents “A Walk Through Christmas Past” examining the holiday during the Civil War.

During the Civil War at Christmas 1862 most people thought the war would be over. Instead, it was at Kinston’s doorsteps. Join volunteers and staff at CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center Friday, Dec. 6, 6 to 8 p.m., for a unique theater presentation, “A Walk Through Christmas Past.” 

Preregistration is not required. Tickets can be purchased online through Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-walk-through-christmas-past-tickets-54450757682 or at the site. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for ages four to 12, and under age three are free. If you have any questions, please contact Program Coordinator Rachel Kennedy at 252-526-9600 ext. 222 or rachel.kennedy@ncdcr.gov

“This year the museum is expanding the visitor experience to include unique evening theater programs that we hope visitors will continue to enjoy,” Kennedy said. 

As you prepare for Christmas, see the meager celebration during wartime or the Christmas of 1864 which was the only one celebrated aboard ship for the crew of the CSS Neuse. Ladies were home mending clothes and making shirts. Decorations likely were not hung, but the officers and men got to go into town for the holiday. After the war’s end in 1865, the real price could be calculated. 

Visitors will be escorted through the museum to see four vignettes that show what families, soldiers and sailors would be doing during Christmas from 1861 through 1865. Crafts, cookies and cider will be available as visitors wait to go on tour. 

Tours will begin at 6 p.m. and depart every 15 minutes. Tours last approximately 30 minutes. 

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.