A 200-Year-Old Book Gives Insight to Fort Snelling Life
The Minnesota Historical Society was the recipient of a nice addition recently, a 200-year-old book that dates to 1826-1827, providing some interesting insight into the early history of Minnesota.
It’s an order book from the 5th Army Regiment that was stationed at Fort Snelling during its early years, detailing some of the issues soldiers were dealing with.
A woman living in White Bear Lake had the book; she said it was her grandfather's. The odd thing about it was her grandfather had no connection to Fort Snelling. Anyway, Shelby Edwards is the manuscript curator with the Minnesota Historical Society and spoke about the new addition with Rich Peterson on KROC AM. She's the one whose job it is to decipher all the writing. The most interesting is it shows the very human element of what the soldiers were doing, or putting up with.
Some of Edwards’ favorite excerpts include accounts of un-officer-like and gentleman-like conduct, there are some examples of misappropriation of hospital rations — “a doctor stealing drugs from the fort’s medical supply,” she said, and the most common charge: habitual drunkenness.
If you’d like to download a PDF file of the book, you can click on this link. (It might take a few minutes)
The Historical Society webpage is mnhs.org