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Major General Sterling Price's Biography

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Major General Sterling Price was born in Virginia on September 11, 1809. He married his wife Martha Head Price in 1833. He entered politics in 1844 when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. His military serves started with Senator Thomas H. Benton obtained Prices commission to command a regiment. In the Mexican war Price, lead a regiment of volunteers to Santa Fe New Mexico. After that troop movement, he advanced to Brigadier General. In January 1847 Price stopped an attack on the American force in now know Taos, New Mexico. That little skirmish was used to get him promoted to Brigadier General. Price then led his men to attack Santa Cruz De Rosales against war department orders. Where is men killed 200 Mexicans that had already surrendered. This action was celebrated by friends and helped him to be elected governor in 1852 of Missouri. Governor Price voted for the transcontinental railroad and the 1854 Kansas Nebraska Act that made it legal to have slaves in the Louisiana Territory. There was a lot of sovereignty being pushed in Missouri that was thought to be a way to get slaver to be north of the Missouri compromise line.

This also led to bad practices of attacking supporters of none slavery to sway elections or patriating in a territorial elections that why did not live. After Prices time as governor he had multiple business ventures to in cloud a railroad that fail in the economic downturn. In the downturn, it financial ruined him. With his political connection, he landed the state bank commissioners job to get back on track. After the election of Abraham Lincoln, that was when the secession started from the Union. Price was supporting Douglas who was strongly opposed it. The then governor Jackson tried to get Missouri too seceded throughout the Civil War. Jackson was more devoted to the South than to the Union. In 1860, his family moved to Keysteville, Missouri where he had invested in land for a farm. In February 1861, Price sought election as conditional Unionist delegate to a state convention, which the start legislature had created to decide if Missouri would remain in the Union. Being that he was oversee of the debate, he did not take part in them. In the conclusion of the debate, they decided to act an s a mediator between the North and South to try to get a peaceful solution.

Price remained undecided about what course would take during the war until Union forces outside of St. Louis captured the state militia. Prince made his decision after the altercation between Lyons troop and a group of civilians that he observed. After observing this, he went straight to Jefferson City, Missouri to offer his military services to Governor Jackson. Governor Jackson had hesitation before he appointed Price to Command the state militia. General Price negotiated prevention of hostilities between the state and federal forces. This agreement was that the federal troops would not conduct military movement and General Price pledged peace. Not long after the agreement General Price and men were driven from their home by Unionist that knew the agreement would not stand. The outcome of them being driven out is they removed the union commander and replaced him with Nathaniel Lyon temporarily. Nathaniel Lyon first moves his forces on Jefferson City and then he beat General Price’s men at Boonville.

The next face of was Wilson Creek that was fought between Nathaniel Lyon and a combined force General Price and Ben McCulloch. The out com of the battle was a Union withdraws and the loose of Lexington to confederate, even with this successes the confederate where not able to take Missouri from the Union. Then next commander for the federal in Missouri was Henry W. Halleck. His mission in the state was to deal with the Guerrilla fighters, his tactics where aggressive, attacking and killing anyone that they thought where caused problems in the state. Halleck said it was within his right of war do to General Price conditioning the action in Missouri. Halleck said that General Price brooks the law. Now Major General Price was in a battle in northwestern Arkansas he was forced to retreat. Major General Price was successful in captured a supply depot at Iuka Mississippi and escaped General Ulysses S. Grant’s to trap him. Major General Price had disastrous casualties for the Confederate defeat in the battle of Corinth Mississippi.

After that Price was sent back Arkansas to serve as the commander under General Holmes. The hope was that Price could get enough of a force to make an impact. The best they got was to push the federal force back to Little Rock and no farther. At the end of the war, Major general Price took his men south to try to join the Mexican until it was unfavorable to them and then he returned to Missouri in January 1867. Sterling Price had the respect of many Missourians as a governor and Patriotic soldier. He had a turbulent career shaped by the division of the Civil War

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