Sunday, June 23, 2013

ACW Travels in North Carolina

One good thing about my job is that I have to travel around the US and spend a long time in one spot, usually over six months.  This means that I usually can get a couple of weekends off sometime during that period of time due to weather or just taking some time off.  This allows me to travel usually within a two to four hours drive to check out some museums or parks.  Normally, I try to go to small ones so I can get in a couple things in the same day.  Mostly I have been working in the Old South these last 10 years, so I have seen a lot of Civil War sites and museums geared to the CSA.  One day, I would like to see some of the museums in the Northern states that have vast collections of Union materials.  A couple of weekends ago, I drove up into North Carolina to see a few sites. 

First, I went to Kinston, NC.  They have a small museum / visitor center for the town with a small, but nice Civil War collection.   As part of the museum, outside is a monument to the NC rebels and reproduction of part of the bridge that spanned across the Neuse River and was burned by Union troops in 1862 at the First Battle of Kinston.  Also in the museum is a film and a nice map with lights for the same 1862 battle.  The actual battlefield is mostly gone, but there is a small park and monument.  Nearby is also a marker for the Second Battle of Kinston in 1865, also known as the Battle of Wyse Fork.  It was the last mass capture of Federal troops by the rebels in which about 1000 troops of the 15th Conn.  & 27th Mass. surrendered.

 Also in Kinston are the remains of the CSS Neuse, an ironclad river boat.  It never saw any real action and was destroyed by the retreating rebels with the Battle of Wyse Fork.  The remains had been displayed in one building, but they have been moved to a new building which is not open to the public yet, so I did not get to see it.  However, I did get to see and go through the only full scale reproduction of ACW river gun boat in the world, which is also in town.  It is a reproduction of the CSS Neuse and until you see a whole one and get to walk around inside of it, you never realize how big they really are to be on the river.  I have seen the USS Cairo in Vicksburg, MS, which is in pretty good shape for wreckage, but this is different type of impressive.  

Finally, I went to the NC Museum of History in Raleigh.  It is a very nice museum and has a nice collection of ACW flags and weapons.  It is well worth the trip.  

The Union Forever!



Anonymous said...

Too neat man. I do envy you USA guys and are able to visit those places.

Pete. said...

Great pics- anymore from the inside of the Ironclad reconstruction?



Sapper Joe said...

Hello, Pete

Yes, I did get some pictures of the inside. Not really much to see as they are still working on her. But they have one of the same type of cannons she carried and some tools and a little furnishing. I will be posting them probably next week. So be on the look out.


Sapper Joe said...

Hello, Anonymous!

Believe me when I say that goes both ways! I would love to see some to the WWII battlefields in France and Germany. Back in 2004, I did a tour with veterans from my grandfather's division, so did get to see some of the small battlefields that most will never read about. One of the best things about the tour was the main guy that organized the tour was an ex-battalion commander for the infantry. When we got around to one the engagement that he was wound in, I stuck tight to him and still remember all of the alleys that he used to get around the Germans.