Civil War photography at CSS Neuse

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KINSTON — The American Civil War was the first major conflict to be photographed and brought the brutality of war to audiences far away. On Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center will host a program on Civil War Photography. Photographer Harry Taylor will provide an 11 a.m. discussion on the history and methods of tintype photography.

In addition to presenting information on tintype photography, Taylor will be available to take a tintype photograph of individuals and families for a fee. If you enjoy 19th century photographs and period dressing, this is an opportunity for you.

Photography then was time consuming and difficult with heavy equipment on the battlefield and small wagon spaces. In 1861, the newest technology was wet-plate photography, a process that captured an image on chemically coated pieces of plate glass.

Some well-known 19th century photographers are Matthew Brady, Alexander Gardner, Timothy O’Sullivan and Sam Cooley. They documented warfare and the homefront as never done before.

The CSS Neuse is the only remaining commissioned Confederate ironclad above water. It was part of a new technology that the Confederacy used to combat the superior manpower and firepower of the Union Navy. Learn about this technological advance and warfare in eastern North Carolina at the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center. The Confederate Navy launched the CSS Neuse hoping to gain control of the lower Neuse River and New Bern, but ultimately destroyed the vessel to keep it out of Union hands.

The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center is located at 100 N. Queen St., Kinston, and open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $5, senior/active military $4, students (ages 3-12) $3, ages 2 and younger free.

For additional information, call the site at 252- 526-9600, ext. 222. The CSS Neuse Center and the Richard Caswell Memorial are within the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

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