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Fort Snelling National Cemetery


Detailed history

Fort Snelling was a frontier fort first established in 1819. Its original purpose was to keep the peace on what was then the western frontier. During the American Civil War it served as a recruiting camp area for Minnesota volunteers. The cemetery was officially established in 1870.
In 1937, the citizens of St. Paul, petitioned Congress to construct a National Cemetery in the area. Two years later, the new plot was dedicated, and the burials from the original post cemetery were moved to it. In 1960, the Fort Snelling Air Force Station transferred 146 acres (59 ha) to the cemetery; another 177 acres (0.72 km2) were acquired in 1961, expanding the cemetery to its current size.
There was a tradition of placing a flag on every grave on Memorial Day, but as the cemetery grew, the staff was forced to stop. In 2017, the nonprofit Flags for Fort Snelling revived the tradition;[1] volunteers placed 200,000 memorial flags in 2019.

Buried or commemorated

  • Russell Ahlstrom

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Flight Engineer | 340th Bomb Group

  • Arthur Erdall

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 365th Fighter Group


Date Contributor Update
30 November 2020 03:39:43 466thHistorian Created entry with name, latitude, longitude and history