United States Military Veteran. He was born in Minnesota at Fort Saint Anthony (later renamed Camp Snelling in 1824) and was the son of Colonel Josiah and Abby Snelling. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1845, 24th in his class. He was commissioned in the U.S. Army and served in the Mexican American War. He received two promotions on August 20, 1847, to Brevet 1st Lieutenant and to Brevet Captain, for gallant and meritorious conduct at the Battles of Contreras, Churubusco, and Molino del Rey. He became a Captain (of regular rank) on March 3, 1855 and served with the 10th U.S. Infantry. He later took residence in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he died in 1855 when he was 32 years old. His father is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington D.C.