Sterling Price or "Old Pap" was born in Virginia on September 20, 1809. He lived and served most of his life in Missouri however as a militia general. Price served as an America general in the Mexican War and then later as a Confederate General in the Civil War.
Price served the state of Missouri in various ways in his younger years. After attending Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and getting his law degree, he moved his family to Missouri where he ran his own law practice before alter opening his own mercantile store as well as a hotel and a plantation. He served the state during investigations into the Mormon War in 1838.
In the late 1840s Price served in the Mexican War. He was military governor of New Mexico for time and put down the Taos Rebellion, after which President Polk appointed him brigadier general of the volunteers. Price commanded the Army of the West in the alter part of the wars, and after the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo he returned to his family and farm in Missouri.
Price is perhaps most remembered for his service to the Confederacy during the Civil War. It was during this time, when Missouri's governor appointed him as commander of the new Missouri State Guard after their secession, that Price's soldiers named him "Old Pap." The Civil War is what gives Price his connections to Arkansas. Price became a major general in the Confederate States Army and commanded at many famous battles such as the First Battle of Lexington, Missouri, the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, the Battle of Helena, Arkansas, the Battle of Carthage, Missouri, the Battle of Prairie D'Ane, Arkansas, and the Battle of Pilot Knob, Missouri among several others.
Price's main link to central Arkansas occurred after the Battle of Helena. The Confederacy was crippled after the battle, and the Union sought to keep Price, who was determined not to let the loss dampen his morale and determination, form invading Missouri further. Price had troops stationed in Little Rock for the campaign, and the Union sent in forces to take the capitol back and return it to federal control.