Historic Site Plans Special Celebration
The sound of colonial cannons firing, the sight of patriot troops drilling, and the smell of an old-fashioned summer picnic will fill the eyes and ears at the CSS Neuse State Historic Site-Governor Richard Caswell Memorial Saturday, Aug. 15, during a celebration of America's independence.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., families can enjoy a free living history program recalling life in the 18th-century British army and how Continental soldiers, sailors and their families lived, fought and died during the Revolutionary War (1775-1783).
Visitors will also have a chance to see how cannons and muskets were fired, watch typical civilian activities of the period such as spinning and weaving, move among re-enactors in colorful 18th-century dress, and play (or just cheer the players) at lawn games of the late 1700s including quoits (similar to horseshoes) and bocce. Little ones will have a chance to try their skills at old-fashioned games such as cup and ball, Jacob's Ladder and spinning tops.
The program's highlight will be an outdoor picnic, scheduled from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring their own picnic lunches and blankets.
Besides the Revolutionary War-themed activities, attendees may want to step into the site's visitor center to examine exhibits on Gov. Richard Caswell, North Carolina's first governor. Tours of the CSS Neuse gunboat will also be presented throughout the day.
Back in the late 1700s, when North Carolina was still an unsettled wilderness dotted with a few small settlements and its capital was moving from place to place, Caswell was elected governor five times, more than any other person in the state's history. A Revolutionary War hero who walked with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, Caswell is now known as the "Father of the State."
An active member of the British colonial militia, Caswell fought in the Battle of Alamance against the Regulators in 1771; this battlefield is also a state historic site, like the CSS Neuse. When relations between the colonies and England began to sour in 1774, he was elected to the Continental Congress. During the American Revolution he rejoined the military and became a war hero by leading patriot troops to victory at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge in 1776.
Glimpses into two of the nation's most pivotal wars can be found at the CSS Neuse/Gov. Caswell Memorial in the city of Kinston. Here visitors may learn about Caswell's life during the Revolutionary War and the early days of our state.
They may also study the remains of the Confederate ironclad gunboat CSS Neuse and learn about its role in the Civil War.
The mission of the CSS Neuse/Gov. Caswell Memorial is to preserve and interpret the history of Caswell, the CSS Neuse and the Civil War in the eastern region.
The state historic site is located off U.S. 70, west of downtown Kinston; exit on U.S. 70 Business East (West Vernon Avenue), and the site is approximately one-half mile on the right.
For more information on the state historic site, call (252) 522-2091 or go to www.nchistoric sites.org/neuse/neuse.htm.
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