Babies named for Sterling Price

American soldier Sterling Price (1809-1867)
Sterling Price

Sterling Price was an officer in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.

He was born into a family of slave-owning planters in Virginia, and moved (with his family) to Missouri as a young man. He entered politics in the 1830s, fought in the Mexican-American War in the 1940s, and served a four-year term as governor of Missouri in the mid-1850s.

During the Civil War, he was initially the commander of the Missouri State Guard. He joined the Confederates as a Major-General in early 1862.

In terms of namesakes, I found a smattering born in the 1850s, and hundreds more born during the first half of the 1860s.

Here are some of the Missouri boys who were named after their state’s governor:

And here are more than a dozen of the boys (also mostly from Missouri) who were named in honor of Price during the Civil War era:

So…how could a baby be named “Robert Lee Sterling Price Stephenson” after a pair of famous Civil War generals if he was born more than two years before the conflict started?

He wasn’t named right away — like many of the children born during that time period.

In fact, Sterling Price Robbins — the namesake just below Stephenson on the list — was born in late 1860, but not baptized until mid-1862. And his name proved to be controversial among locals in St. Louis:

In June 1862, [Rev. Samuel McPheeters] baptized a baby with the name the parents selected — Sterling Price Robbins, in honor of the Confederate leader at Wilson’s Creek. After some church members complained, federal officials banished McPheeters.

Similarly, Ohio baby girl Emancipation Proclamation Coggeshall wasn’t named until she was 2 years old.


Image: Sterling Price

2 thoughts on “Babies named for Sterling Price

  1. Ha, it just makes me think of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (the ad firm on Mad Men).

  2. It makes you wonder what a child is called for two years before they are given an official name!

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