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Historic Fort Snelling

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Minnesota

Fort Snelling State Park
101 Snelling Lake Road
West St. Paul, Minnesota 55111
Website: www.mnhs.org/visit

By 1851, treaties had opened much of the new Territory of Minnesota to settlement and pushed the frontier farther west. Newer Forts Ridgely, Ripley and Abercrombie took over frontier duties while Fort Snelling was demoted to a supply depot. In 1858, the year Minnesota became a state, the fort was sold to a land developer and platted as a town site. Plans for the city of Fort Snelling were abandoned, however, with the outbreak of the Civil War. Between 1861 and 1865, Minnesota expanded the fort as a training center for thousands of volunteers who joined the Union Army. After the war, the regular Army returned. Fort Snelling became headquarters and a supply base for the military Department of Dakota, which extended from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. Regulars from Fort Snelling served in the Indian campaigns and in the Spanish-American War of 1898.