April 20, 2018

Pages 2204-2205
Whole Number 110

An 1896 SPARKS LETTER OF INQUIRY



Lillian Sparks Rust of Orderville, Utah, owns the family Bible that belonged to Benjamin Hume Sparks (1816-1914) whose portrait appeared on the cover of the Quarterly of December 1964, Vol. XII, No. 4, Whole No. 48. The following letter is preserved in that Bible, although it is marked as a copy of the original. It was written by 9.1.1.5.2 Daniel Pierce Sparks, Jr. (born 1845) about whom we published an article in the Quarterly of June 1968, Vol. XVI, No. 2, Whole No. 62. D. P. Sparks, as he was called, was a resident of Shawnee, Oklahoma, in 1901. He married Josephine Haggarty and they had four children:

9.1.1.5.2.1 Chesley Sparks, who died in 1900;
9.1.1.5.2.2 Josephine Sparks;
9.1.1.5.2.3 J. Calhoun Sparks; and
9.1.1.5.2.4 D. P. Sparks, III

The Quarterly of December 1962, Vol. X, No. 4, Whole No. 40, was largely devoted to the ancestors of D. P. Sparks, writer of the following letter:

Greenville, Texas

14 January 1896

Mr. Ben Sparks

Culpeper C.H. Va.

Dear Sir

These lines will without doubt surprise you, but I met Jim Sparks of Kansas City who told me about you people.

I was all around you during the Civil War, was at Brandy Station or Kelly^ Ford fight with Fitz Hugh Lee, but did not know of you then.

I want to learn two things first more of the Sparks family and second of the Howison family that kept hotel in Culpeper at the time of the Kelly's Ford fight when Major Pelham was killed and brought to Culpeper. There was a James Howison and family--son and daughter--Allen and Emma who lived near Catlett Station, Virginia. Do you know what has become of them?

As to the Sparks family before the Revolutionary War, four brothers, Charles, Samuel, Daniel and Harry came from Virginia to the Welsh Neck settlement in South Carolina. Charles and Samuel went to sea and we have no more record of them. Harry was hung by the Torries and my grandfather Daniel Sparks died at Society Hill, South Carolina.

Do you know anything or are there any of the Sparks family in Virginia who do know anything of these four brothers?

My father was a very wealthy sugar planter before the Civil War in Louisiana. My brother was killed near Catlett Station during the war and myself made good record as soldier in Hampton Legion of South Carolina.

My brother, Calhoun Sparks was a gallant and noted scout during the war and was well known about Culpeper, Catlett Station, Brentsville and Manassas. James Howison's wife and daughter saved my brother's life once when he was shot, and I want to find them, or at least the daughter, who, if living, must be a woman fifty years of age at least. The old people are dead but I cannot find a trace of Emma nor her brother Allen. Some members of the family who lived in Culpeper may be living who know.

Please give me all the information of the Sparks family. I understand they came originally from Wales to Virginia.

The next Reunion of Confederate Soldiers will be at Richmond and I shall go and will run down to Catlet Station and Culpeper.

I do not know if we are relatives or not, but suppose we are. I am now fifty years old, but feel as young as I did twenty five years ago.

My recollections of Virginia and her people are grand and glorious. I hope I may hear from you and hear something of interest.

That you have the Sparks name makes me feel kind towards you. I never knew one of them that went back on a friend or showed an enemy his back.

Yours in friendship,

D. P. Sparks Greenville, Hunt Co., Texas

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