Fearing spring floods and more disease, Lt. Colonel Leavenworth moved his troops to high ground near a spring a mile up the west bank of the Mississippi River - this became Camp Coldwater. During the summer, Colonel Josiah Snelling became the new commander of the regiment. Under his energetic directrion, a new stone fort was constructed atop the bluff on the west bank of the confluence of the St. Peters and Mississippi Rivers.
Zachary Taylor commands the fort. Lt. Colonel Taylor later becomes the 12th president of the United States. One of Taylor's daughters elopes with Lieutenant Jefferson Davis, reportedly marrying him in the fort's block house. Jefferson Davis later becomes president of the Confederacy.
Dred Scott lives at Fort Snelling as a slave of Dr. Emerson. Mr. Scott later sues for his freedom in Scott vs. Sandford, carrying the case to the Supreme Court in 1857. The case helped widen the rift between North and South, leading to the Civil War in 1861
Under dubious circumstances, Fort Snelling is sold to St. Paul businessman Franklin Steele for $90,000, only a third of which was ever paid. Steele plans to build a city on the site and draws up plans for the layout. His dreams never materialize and the fort is used primarily to house sheep.
The outbreak of the Civil War and the U.S.-Dakota Conflict prompted the reactivation of the fort. Several hundred Dakota die on Pike Island below the fort when approximately 1600 elderly people, women, and children are incarcerated there in the winter of 1862 ? 1863.
Fort Snelling becomes known as the country club of the Army for all the amenities it offers soldiers. There's a golf course, swimming pool, hockey in the winter, polo grounds, a game preserve, fishing, a movie theater, and its own street car line, allowing easy access to both Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Fort Snelling hosts a military intelligence language school. Over 6,000 linguists, mostly Nisei (Japanese-American) graduate from the school, which teaches soldiers the Japanese language so they can interrogate enemy soldiers and translate documents. Fort Snelling is chosen as the location for the school because Minnesota has a reputation as a tolerant state.
The first steps are taken to preserve and restore Historic Fort Snelling. The proposal of the Minnesota Highway Department to build a new bridge with a freeway an dcloverleaf interchange right through the old fort brought action to the cause.