Teaching through our historic sites

CSS Neuse

On-Site Educational Activities

All classes will take the tour of the remains of the CSS Neuse. Teachers may select two or three of the remaining educational programming activities depending on the amount of time they have to spend at the site. Please allow time for bathroom breaks, gift shop sales and transition from station to station in your planning. Every effort will be made to satisfy your requests. However, staff reserves the right to alter planned programming due to inclement weather or unanticipated staff shortages.

The core on-site program lasts an hour and 15 minutes, and consists of four components:

  1. CSS Neuse Orientation Film – This film is 12 minutes and gives an overview of the history of the CSS Neuse from design and construction through the recovery in the 1960s.
  2. Tour of the remains of the CSS Neuse and Temporary Exhibits– Students will delve further into the history of the ship by learning about the crew who served onboard, seeing the artifacts recovered from the remains, and hearing about its role in the war. (Approximate length: 20 minutes).
  3. 19th Century Weapons and Uniform Talk – A staff member dressed in historically accurate naval clothing will discuss the uniform and weapons of a typical Confederate sailor. The talk culminates in the firing of an Enfield rifle or a naval musketoon. (Approximate length: 20 minutes)
  4. Rope Making Demonstration – While the sailors on the CSS Neuse most likely did not have to make the ropes for the ship, the blockade may have caused a shortage of such items. The crew needed to know how to splice and repair rope, as well as fundamental knot-tying. This demonstration gives the students the basics of how rope is made and how it was used onboard a gunboat. (Approximate length: 20 minutes)


If the group has additional time for its visit, they may wish to utilize one or both of these supplemental program components:

  1. Quoits Demonstration – In one of Lt. Richard Bacot's letters to his sister, he describes some of the activities the crew of the CSS Neuse engaged in to alleviate the boredom of drill, drill, drill. One of these activities was the game of Quoits, which is similar to horseshoes. Students will learn about crew activities and be able to play a shortened version of the game. (Approximate length: 30 minutes)
  2. Shipbuilding Activities – Students will learn some of the basics of ship building and the construction techniques used in building the CSS Neuse. Students will see a cross-cut sawing demonstration with an opportunity to try their hand at sawing and drilling holes with a hand auger. (Approximate length: 30 minutes)

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