Friday, January 10, 2014

Underwriter Expedition Symposium and Navy Living History at CSS Neuse Feb. 1

KINSTON, N.C. – The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center will host the USS Underwriter Expedition Symposium and Navy Living History Saturday, Feb. 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The program will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Underwriter Expedition. Registration is now open until Jan. 24 and has limited seating. A boxed lunch from Our Picnic Basket will be included in the $10 registration fee due by Jan. 24. Please call 252-522-2107 or email to register.

In this exciting expedition in February 1864, the Confederates sought to challenge Union control of New Bern. Since 1862 the Federals had occupied the coastal town and limited Confederate operations in the region. This spectacular naval attack on the USS Underwriter was the most daring undertaking of many of the crew of the CSS Neuse and proved that, even late in the war, Union control could be challenged.

The symposium will feature a presentation by Jeff Bockert at 10 a.m. about the larger campaign the USS Underwriter Expedition was a part. Andrew Duppstadt will speak about the naval attack and involvement of crewmembers from the CSS Neuse at 1 p.m. At 2:30 p.m., Matthew Young will address the attack on the USS Water Witch in Georgia, a similar operation to the Underwriter Expedition, in which CSS Neuse sailors had been involved. Registration is required.

The Carolina Living History Guild will provide Civil War naval displays, living history and costumed interpretation. The living history is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At the CSS Neuse Interpretive Center, learn about the ironclad gunboat and watch as a new museum takes shape. The Confederate Navy launched the ill-fated CSS Neuse in a futile attempt to regain control of the lower Neuse River and the city of New Bern.

The CSS Neuse Interpretive Center is located at 100 N. Queen St., Kinston, N.C. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Gov. Caswell Center is located at 2612 W. Vernon Ave., Kinston, N.C. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. 4 p.m. The sites are closed Sunday and Monday, and most major holidays.

For information, please contact Holly Brown at 252-526-9600 ex. 222 or email Visit the site on Facebook at the “CSS Neuse” or “Gov. Richard Caswell Memorial State Historic Site” pages. The sites are administered by the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

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