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Fort Snelling, Page III

In the fall of 1820, Colonel Josiah Snelling replaced Leavenworth as commander of the garrison.  It was he who built the diamond shaped fortress of limestone with its different towers using the troops of his command with extra duty pay.  Built from the stone of the local area it is indeed an impressive structure and the only one of its kind in the west.  Although, grand as it is, it never held off an attack from an enemy and even in it’s own era, it was built more to the armies idea of a fort than the usefulness of a period fort.  This was because the westward expansion was happening so fast that it wasn’t long, before the fort wasn’t in the wilderness anymore.  The fort was originally named Fort St. Anthony but in 1824, when General Winfield Scott inspected the fort, he said “ I wish to suggest to the general-in-chief and through him to the War Department, the propriety of calling this work Fort Snelling as a just compliment to the meritorious officer under whom it has been erected”.  The fort was completed in 1825  “as if by magic in the forest wilds”according to the Indian agent.  Col Snelling left the post worn out from exhaustion in the fall of 1827.  The 5th Infantry was also replaced by the 1st Infantry in the next Decade and the New commander was Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Taylor.  He said of the fort, “a most miserable and uninteresting country”.  After his tour the fort held no prospect till the start of the Civil War where it was used as a training and recruitment station.
(Information from the book "Ft. Snelling/Colossus of the Wilderness" by the Minnesota Historical Society and rewritten by webmaster)

Front of fort from down near hexagonal tower, facing northwest.


Main Gate

Page I

Page II

Page IV

Page V

Page VI

Page VII


Page IX

Page X

Round Tower from the main gate area, outside the fort facing northwest.


Guard at main gate

Civil War Traveler
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