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

  • February 24:
    African-Americans and Women in the Civil War

    Saturday, 11 am - 4 pm
    This is a free lecture event to celebrate the contributions of women and African-Americans during the Civil War. A member from the City Council in Kinston will also be making an appearance and saying a few words to begin our program. This is the first year in history the entire City Council in Kinston is African-American.
    Program Schedule:
    11:00 a.m.- Guest speaker Shannon Walker will focus on women's roles in medicine during the American Civil War, and the involvement of African American women in the development of the modern nursing field.
    2:00 p.m.-Guest speaker and author, Alex Christopher Meekins will give a presentation on Wild's 1st North Carolina Colored Volunteers (NCCV), who along with some soldiers from the 55th Massachusetts Volunteers were among the 10,000 reinforcements requested by Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore who was in command of Union forces attempting to attack Charleston. Ordered to depart in light marching order, the men of the regiment left their baggage and personal belongings behind in New Bern. The group was raised in North Carolina, but saw action in border states. The regiment became the 35th United States Colored Troops (USCT), fighting all its battles and skirmishes in South Carolina and Florida, including the action at Battery Wagner, later made famous in the movie Glory, before seeing Reconstruction era service at Charleston.
    3:00 p.m.-Guest speaker and author, Reginald Hildebrand will give a talk on "The First Year of Freedom in North Carolina: Pursuing Freedom with the Hoe and the Sword, the Book and the Lord". Using first-hand accounts, this talk will illustrate some of the ways in which freedom was experienced in North Carolina in 1865, including the accounts of black soldiers entering Wilmington in February, the first 4th of July celebration of the freedpeople, and a 'watch night' service in Raleigh to mark both the New Year and the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

  • Stay tuned for more upcoming events . . .

View NC DNCR Upcoming Events Calendar

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.


Adults - $5
Seniors (65+) - $4
Active Military (w/ I.D.) - $4
Children (Ages 3 - 12) - $3
Children (Ages 0 - 2) - Free

Special rates for groups of 10 or more. Ask for prices when you schedule group. CSS Neuse Gunboat Association memberships available. Members in good standing receive free admission.

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