The U.S. Army built Fort Snelling between 1820 and 1825 to protect American interests in the fur trade. It tasked the fort’s troops with deterring advances by the British in Canada, enforcing boundaries between the region’s American Indian nations, and preventing Euro-American immigrants from intruding on American Indian land. In these early years and until its temporary closure in 1858, Fort Snelling was a place where diverse people interacted and shaped the future state of Minnesota.
(L to R) Sergeant Herbert Miyasaki , General Frank Merrill, and Akiji Yoshimura, c.1945. Miyasaki and Yoshimura were graduates of the MISLS. Some of the most celebrated Nisei of the war fought with the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), better known as “Merrill’s Marauders.”