High water delays search for pieces of Civil War ironclad in Kinston

From staff reportsMarch 10, 2014 

— The high-tech search for long-missing pieces of a Civil War ironclad will have to wait a few more days, after high water on the Neuse River forced cancellation of a research expedition Monday.

A state underwater archaeological crew will wait until Friday to deploy its sonar and magnetometer on the river near Kinston. They’ll be looking for items such as anchors and armor plating from the CSS Neuse, which was pulled from the Neuse a half-century ago.

The CSS Neuse is a rare piece of Civil War history – a remarkably intact ironclad ship that is now housed in the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center, a museum in downtown Kinston that opened last year. Now the state’s archaeologists are going back for more.

“People have been up and down the river bank for years and years searching – but things that are underwater, lost in the mud, maybe couldn’t be found,” said Steve Claggett, state archaeologist for North Carolina. “The work that we’re doing is the first comprehensive search using some pretty sophisticated methods.”

The state researchers hope to launch just after 10 a.m. Friday from the boat ramp off U.S. 70 in Kinston. They plan to announce preliminary findings at 4 p.m. that day.

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