#33: Visit Historic Fort Snelling (Part 4)

The organizers of the weekend Civil War event did a very good job of providing an honest and well-rounded examination of all facets of life during this period in history:

01_women soldiers sign

For this stop on the tour, a female re-enactor gave a brief three-minute speech about how some women snuck their way into the fort to serve their country, and discussed the logistics of how such a feat was possible.  At the end of the spiel, a young girl (probably 7 years old or so) politely raised her hand, then asked, “Were these female soldiers transgendered?”  God love kids in the year 2013.  The adult smiled kindly at the little girl, and cautiously explained that “back in the 1800s no one knew much about transgendered people….” A very diplomatic way to address what could have been a mess of a question.

Of course, a discussion of transgendered individuals seemed like a perfect transition to examining married life in the 1800s.  😉

01_barracks sign

A room in the married quarters section of the fort:

02_married barracks

Single men didn’t have life quite so nice:

03_single barracks

Most people thought the room above slept 6, but in reality, 12 men shared the room.  This sign explains how and why:

04_single barracks sign

The tour then shifted from couples (who hopefully love one another), to singles (who hopefully can at least tolerate one another), to war (which hopefully might be able to end one day…):


The uniform and common weaponry of a Union soldier:

02_weapons and gear1

An outfit and common weaponry of a more ‘vigilante’ type of man:

03_weapons and gear2

Moving from smaller firearms to larger ones required us to move from inside the fort to outdoors:


The gun shed had six of these inside of it:

05_weapon in shed

In the middle of the fort, four re-enactors showed a crowd how to load a cannon:

06_weapon outside

A single cannon could actually fire several different types of cannon “balls”.  Here is one example:


Another re-enactor explained the differences between multiple styles of cannonballs, and which ones were better suited for which purposes and scenarios:

08_bullet explanation

Not wanting to make the day too depressing, the event planners organized the tour route so that our next stop was an indoor (read: shaded and cool), impressive one:

01_history lab sign

It was actually semi-jarring to transition from being surrounded by 1800s attire and gear to entering this modern, 21st-century space.  Again I felt a bit like a time traveler – only in the other direction….

02_learning lab

[Click here to read more about the Civil War weekend at the fort.]


About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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