The Artifact Gallery was made possible by a generous gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee.
Alexander Simplot is mostly known for his Civil War sketches and reporting. He was born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1837, and died there in 1914. He studied at Rock River Seminary and at Union College. At the outset of the Civil War, he was employed by Harper's Weekly to provide sketches of the war's western theater. His reporting comprised mostly of the exploits of the Army of the Frontier, commanded by General John C. Frémont, while it was stationed in Missouri in 1861. This sketch is one of Simplot's original sketches. Simplot identified the image as a fort at "Rolla, Mo, Headquarters of the Army of the Frontier under Command of Gen'l Herron" and dated a letter on the reverse of the sketch for April 21, 1863. On the reverse of the sketch is a letter written by Simplot to a Mr. John Bonner, in which he notes “…I visited Rolla, and you have the result enclosed, in a view of that place, and a likeness of Maj. Gen'l. F.J. Herron, commanding the Army of the Frontier, whose energy and bravery in this department, have won for him a most enviable reputation.”