In the fall of 1819, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Leavenworth with the 5th Infantry, crossed the territory, which is now Wisconsin from Fort Howard to Fort Crawford at Prairie Du Chien. Then navigated up the Mississippi to the point at the mouth of the St. Peter’s River to garrison the proposed site. In his letter to Major General Jacob Brown, he wrote, “ the territory he crossed was worthless for settlement and a garrison at the St. Peter’s would do no good for the country”. He stayed in the area from August 1819 to fall of 1820, after losing many men to the dire conditions of the area, including extreme summer heat, bad drinking water, and the appetite of the mosquito. In the words of Indian Agent Thomas Forsyth “ Not fit for either man or beast to live in”.
(Information from the book "Ft. Snelling/Colossus of the Wilderness" by the Minnesota Historical Society and rewritten by webmaster)