CSS Neuse & Gov. Caswell Memorial

Colonial Period – Civil War

Glimpses into two of our nation's most pivotal wars can be found in one historic site within the city of Kinston. Here you will explore the celebrated life of Richard Caswell, the first governor of the independent state of North Carolina. You will also see up close the remnants of the ironclad gunboat CSS Neuse, a product of the Confederate navy's ill-fated attempt to regain control of the lower Neuse River and retake the city of New Bern during the Civil War.

CSS Neuse

Neuse Teaching Material

Richard Caswell


If you have some free time and are interested in history and/or connecting with the community, we have a great variety of projects and enriching experiences to offer. If your interested but not sure what you have to offer, come by or give us a call and we can discuss it.

What's New

  • The CSS Neuse has moved!
    On June 23rd, 2012, the ironclad's remains were moved to the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center at 100 N. Queen Street in downtown Kinston. The new, fully enclosed and climate-controlled facility is open to the public for tours while permanent exhibits are in development. Currently, visitors can view the remains of the CSS Neuse, along with temporary exhibits and an orientation video. The Governor Caswell Memorial (2612 W. Vernon Ave.) also remains open to the public during this time.

Upcoming Events

  • December 9 - January 3:
    Freedom is Coming, Freedom For All

    Tues - Sat, 9 am - 5 pm
    Traveling exhibit that focuses on the status of North Carolina before the Civil War, events leading up to Lincoln's issuance of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, and outcomes of the document in the state and nation. "Freedom Coming" also examines the differences among the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, the final Emancipation Proclamation, and the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Admission is free, and open to the public.

  • December 13:
    Home for the Holidays

    Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm
    The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center will host an open house during and following the Kinston Christmas Parade. Visitors will have a chance to interact with costumed interpreters and learn how Christmas was celebrated by soldiers and sailors at home and in the field. Cookies and apple cider will be available while supplies last. Admission is free, and open to the public.

  • December 18:
    "The Freedom Trail" Screening

    Thursday, 2 - 3 pm
    The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center will be hosting a special presentation about the traveling exhibit "Freedom Coming" and a screening of "The Freedom Trail" filmed at Historic Bennett Place in Durham, NC in 2013. The film depicts the application of the Emancipation Proclamation in North Carolina as actors make their way on the NC Railroad to New Bern. The film is about 30 minutes. Admission is free, and open to the public.

  • December 24 - 26
    Site Closed

    We will be closed Wednesday, December 24th through Friday, December 26th in observance of Christmas (state holiday). We will re-open to the public on Saturday, December 27th on our regular schedule.

CSS Neuse & Gov. Caswell Memorial Information

Contact Us

CSS Neuse
100 N. Queen St.
Kinston, NC 28501
Phone: (252) 522-2107
Email: cssneuse@ncdcr.gov

Gov. Caswell Memorial
2612 W. Vernon Ave. (U.S. 70 Bus.)
Kinston, NC 28504
Phone: (252) 522-2091
Fax: (252) 527-7036
Email: cssneuse@ncdcr.gov

Hours of Operation

For Neuse:

Tuesday-Saturday, 9 am - 5 pm
(Last guided tour begins at 4 pm.)
Closed Sunday and Monday

For Caswell:

Tuesday-Friday 10 am – 2 pm
Saturday 10 am – 4 pm

Visitors should call ahead, as hours sometimes change unexpectedly. Large groups should call ahead for tour arrangements.


No admission fees. Donations are accepted and appreciated.  

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