Historic Fort Snelling Remembers 150th Anniversary of Civil War’s End

For immediate release

Release dated: 
July 29, 2015
Media contacts: 

Lauren Peck, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3137, lauren.peck@mnhs.org
Jessica Kohen, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

Quick facts: 

EventCivil War Weekend: Coming Home
Date: August 15-16, 2015, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Place: Historic Fort Snelling, 200 Tower Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55111
Cost: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 ages 6-17, free ages 5 and under and MNHS members

Historic Fort Snelling Remembers 150th Anniversary of Civil War’s End

More than 200 reenactors from around the country will recreate the 2nd Minnesota Infantry’s homecoming during biggest-ever Civil War Weekend

Second Minnesota cropped

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War in 1865, Historic Fort Snelling is partnering with the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force to host its biggest-ever Civil War Weekend August 15 and 16, 2015. Visitors can join as many as 250 reenactors from around the country for events and activities that showcase what homecoming was like for Minnesota soldiers and their loved ones.

Taking center stage during the weekend is a recreation of the 2nd Minnesota Infantry’s return by riverboat to Fort Snelling in 1865. On Saturday morning, visitors can watch as costumed soldiers march up to the fort’s parade grounds where they will hear rousing historic speeches and join in drills. Then on Sunday, in an emotional presentation, there will be a reenactment of the soldiers being greeted with open arms by their friends and loved ones as they muster out of military service.

Additional events and activities include cannon firings, infantry parades, an old-fashioned baseball game, an 1860s fashion show, interpretive stations, walking tours, the traveling exhibit, "Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War," short films produced by the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force and a rotating schedule of guest speakers. See the full Civil War Weekend schedule here.

This sesquicentennial commemoration is set to be the biggest event of the summer at Historic Fort Snelling. It also marks the conclusion of the Minnesota Historical Society’s exploration of our state’s pivotal role in the Civil War, which began in 2011.

Members of the media are invited to attend the entire Civil War Weekend, especially the 2nd Minnesota's reenactment of their journey to Fort Snelling. Reenactors will board the Jonathan Padelford riverboat at Harriet Island at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. The riverboat will travel for 1.5 hours on the Mississippi, arriving at Fort Snelling in time for the 11 a.m. march to the parade grounds. Please contact me to make arrangements. For additional resources, visit the Minnesota and the Civil War resource page. Interviews with content experts and high-res images are also available.

About the Second Minnesota
Organized in the summer of 1861, the Second Minnesota was the state’s largest regiment. More than 1,700 members enrolled in the Second Minnesota over its several years of service. The regiment’s baptism of fire occurred at Mill Springs, January 1862. It also saw notable action at Chickamauga, September 1863, Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga, November 1863 and Sherman’s “March to the Sea,” November – December, 1864.  Read more about the Second Minnesota with MNopedia. Learn more about Minnesota's role in the Civil War with the Historic Fort Snelling website.

 Civil War Weekend is made possible by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

About Historic Fort Snelling

Historic Fort Snelling is located near the airport at the intersections of Hwys. 5 and 55. Originally a frontier outpost, this fort was later used for military training from the Civil War through World War II. Overlooking the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, the site is staffed with living-history interpreters who portray the soldiers, cooks, laundresses, storekeepers and craftspersons who inhabited the fort in the 1800s. The stone and wood-frame buildings have been restored to their original appearance. For more information, call 612-726-1171.

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at www.mnhs.org/calendar. The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.

Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry at Fort Snelling, 1861

Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry at Fort Snelling, 1861

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Second Minnesota Regiment at Mission Ridge Nov. 25, 1863, by Douglas Volk

Second Minnesota Regiment at Mission Ridge Nov. 25, 1863, by Douglas Volk

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Second Minnesota national battle flag.

Second Minnesota national battle flag. This flag has painted battle honors listing all the engagements the regiment participated in from Mill Springs to Resaca up until the summer of 1864. Picked up in Minnesota by regimental color sergeant Holder Jacobus in September 1864, this fourth and final national color was carried during Sherman’s “March to the Sea” through Georgia and the Carolinas, until the end of the war.

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Brigadier General Judson Bishop, Second Minnesota Infantry

Lt. Col. Judson W. Bishop lead the Second Minnesota Regiment in their famous assault on Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863. Originally a captain, he ended his service as a brigadier general.

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