Friday, August 13, 2010

Civil War history at a World War II battleship

This weekend the shipmates and I are descending upon the Battleship USS North Carolina in Wilmington, NC. Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind is World War II and the exploits of the BB55 in the Pacific theater. However, this weekend we will be set up inside the exhibit area talking about the Civil War. You see, the mission at the Battleship museum is to tell the story of all the ship's named North Carolina throughout history. This includes a World War I dreadnought, a modern day nuclear submarine, and the two ships we will be talking about, both of which were used during the Civil War.

First, our Union contingent will be talking about the 1824 ship-of-the-line North Carolina, which was used as a receiving ship for new recruits in New York harbor during the war. Our Confederate cadre will be talking about the horribly decrepit Confederate ironclad CSS North Carolina built right there in Wilmington. It spent its entire service time (only about a year) in the Cape Fear River being used as a floating artillery platform. We are going to have a rather large crowd for us, about 16 guys, and we will have every display imaginable for the public to see including navigation, rope and knot work, small arms, heavy ordnance, ironclad ship construction, medicine, and steam engineering. We'll have US and CS Navy and Marines all represented. It is going to be our biggest program in quite some time and I think everyone is looking forward to it. We'll be at the Battleship from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday. It will be the first Civil War program ever at the museum and the staff is really excited to have us there. We're probably going to see somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 visitors so we'll definitely be busy. I'll post photos next week.

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