Led pro-Confederate Missourians against the Union. Led his troops to victory at Wilson's Creek but later retreated into Arkansas. Sterling Price was a Virginian who went West in search of opportunity, and put down roots. He'd studied at Hampden-Sydney College, then joined the Bar and moved to Missouri. From 1840 to 1844 he served in the Missouri House (including a spell as Speaker), and then stepped up to Congress (1845-46). He left Washington to fight in the Mexican War (2nd Missouri Infantry) and was promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers. The war over, he returned to farming and politics, serving as Governor of Missouri from 1853 to 1857.
He was a moderate, opposing secession as Presiding Officer of the Missouri State Convention (February 1861) but by June talking with Union officers he felt he had to go south'. He took most of the Missouri State Guard with him