Wyse's Fork Battlefield Trip

Mar 9 2019 - 8:00am

On Saturday, March 9, Wade Sokolosky led 45 members of the BCWRT on a tour of the battlefield at Wises Fork.  Wade is certainly the right guide for that tour.  He literally wrote the book on the Battle of Wises Fork.   Seeing the battlefield gives you answers you simply cannot get from books.  How wide was the river they crossed?  How far could the soldiers see ahead of them, behind them?  How high were the earthworks they fought behind?  How thick was the wooded area they marched through?  Only by seeing the ground in person can we answer these questions the next time we read about it.

After a great lunch at Kings BBQ Restaurant, we visited the Neuse II, a replica of the CSS Neuse ironclad.  When you see the vessels size, you wonder how these monsters operated on the rivers.  Despite its size, the cramped interior shrinks further at the specter of the 120 crew complement in the narrow confines. Guns dominate the interior, reminding you this served basically as a floating gun platform.  The smoke, the noise, the poor lighting and the recoiling guns could prove as deadly as the enemys fire.

A short walk brought us to the CSS NEUSE museum to see the real thing.  The remains of the CSS NEUSE, its two floors of artifacts and interpretive panels tell the story of wartime service and its recovery in the 1960s.  The CSS NEUSE is one of only four Civil War ironclads extant. 

We want to thank our members for a fun day.  Spending time and exchanging thoughts with others who share a love of history forms an important part of any group tour.  Thanks to Wade for taking us to the critical points on the battlefield and sharing his expertise.  Finally, thanks, John Walsh.  Johns hard work in organizing ensured a good experience for all.  John is already anticipating fall and a day trip to Bentonville Battlefield.  We hope to see our veteran campaigners and some new faces on that trip.