Sunday, August 17, 2008

CSS Nuese II

This past Monday morning, I headed to Kinston to speak to a group of “cadets” at the School of the Ironclad Soldier. Kinston is almost six hours from my house, and I had to transverse almost the entire state on a Monday morning to get there. Thankfully, there were no mishaps along the way.

My talk was about the war in the mountains of western North Carolina. I started out trying to debunk the myth of western North Carolina being more pro-Union than the rest of the state. Sure there are pockets of Union sympathizers, but western NC is stanchly pro-Confederate. Alas, the reporter that was there missed that entirely. See the article here.

My favorite time of any talk that I give is the question and answer time. This event was no different, and I had a lovely eight-year -old peppering me with questions regarding what I had said. I almost thought I had been set up….

After my talk and looking at the exhibits at the visitor center, which has some good relics from the area, I went over to tour the CSS Nuese II. The SCV/Reenactors/Community have gotten together and created a life-size reproduction of the Confederate ironclad. While the ship is still incomplete(no cannon) they are doing a great job of filling the inside of the vessel with items like bunks that the sailors slept on (documented), and an original steam boiler, much like the original that powered the ship. The tour guide was Charlie Broadway, who did a great job leading me around the ship. I had a great dinner, and I was taken to see the site of the Pickett hangings and the spot where the Unionists that Pickett hanged are buried. Then it was back to my room, where I finally finished Longacre’s dual biography on Johnston and Sherman (review coming).

On Tuesday, I stopped long enough in Raleigh to do some quick research, and then it was back home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael,
Brother, you sure are "puttin' on the miles!" (I hope you have a hybrid or something close, lol.)

Great story and report. I also enjoyed the "factoids" and read at

I encourage anyone remotely interested in the Civil War and North Carolina history to read about Michael's lecture at

You may click on the "see the article here (link)" that he enclosed in this article.

As always, thanks, Matthew Parker
The Thomas Legion