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Research vessel hunts for CSS Neuse artifacts

N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The State Underwater Archeology Team will be on the Neuse River in Kinston Friday (August 19) searching for remnants of the CSS Neuse. George Olsen has more.

The ironclad CSS Neuse was constructed in Seven Springs in 1862 & 1863 before being taken downriver to Kinston for completion. In Kinston she was eventually scuttled by her crew to prevent it being captured by federal troops. The Neuse stayed underwater until 1964 when most of the ship was salvaged. Now the R/V Snap Dragon II will patrol the Neuse between the King Street and Queen Street bridge to search for remnants of the Neuse.  Side-scan sonar and a magnetometer will be among the tools at use. Director of Historic Sites Keith Hardison says the survey will reveal “what, if anything, is salvageable.” Attempts to survey the river for artifacts back in 2014 were scuttled after river levels were too low followed by technical issues with the research vehicle. I’m George Olsen.

UPDATE -- Low water levels on the 19th prevented the expedition from taking place. Target date for a second try is mid-to-late October.

George Olsen is a 1977 Havelock High School graduate. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1982 where he got his first taste of non-commercial radio working for their student station WUSC. After graduation he worked about five years in commercial radio before coming to work at Public Radio East where he has remained since outside of a nearly 3-year stint as jazz and operations coordinator at WUAL in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the early 1990s. On his return to eastern North Carolina he hosted classical music for Public Radio East before moving into the Morning Edition host position and now can be heard on All Things Considered. He also hosts and produces The Sound, five hours of Americana, Roots Rock and Contemporary Folk weekday evenings on PRE Public Radio East News & Ideas, and is a news and feature producer for Public Radio East.