Highlights from the Life of the CSS Neuse

Construction at Whitehall

Construction of the Neuse at Whitehall
This view faces west from the construction site on the riverbank. Note the bridge across the Neuse River in the backgound.

The Engagement at Whitehall

The Engagement at Whitehall, December 1862
Confederate troops spar with a Union raiding party under Gen. John G. Foster. The Federal troops are on the south bank of the river (in the left background of the painting). Note the burning resin and construction materials ignited by the Federals. In the background the bridge, fired by the Confederates, has been destroyed. The shell of the fledgling gunboat Neuse is visible on the right of the image.

The Vessel Runs Aground

The Vessel Runs Aground, April 22, 1864
In its first foray into action, the Neuse runs aground in the shallow waters of its namesake. Though the bow remained afloat, the Neuse was stuck fast until rising water freed the vessel in mid-May 1864.

Engaging Enemy Ground Forces at Kinston

Engaging Enemy Ground Forces at Kinston
As Union troops under Gen. Jacob D. Cox enter Kinston on March 12, 1865, the Neuse shells the approaching enemy cavalry units with its massive Brooke rifles. These were the only shots ever fired in hostility by the CSS Neuse

The Neuse is Scuttled to Prevent its Capture

The Neuse is Scuttled - March 1865
Following the instructions of Department of North Carolina commander Braxton Bragg, Capt. Joseph H. Price orders the destruction of the Neuse. The vessel is set ablaze by its crew to prevent its capture by Union forces. A large explosion near the port bow quickly sends the Neuse to the riverbottom. Eleven days later the New York Herald reports that "Her smokestack can be seen now still standing. She must have been a formidable craft."

Compare these images with the vessel's history in the article titled "The Ram is No Myth": The Life of the CSS Neuse.

Paintings by Stephen McCall
© CSS Neuse State Historic Site

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