Whole Number 68
(Editor's Notes: Here we begin a series of abstracts of the military records in the National Archives in Washington pertaining to Confederate soldiers named Sparks who served in the Civil War. We have chosen to begin with the state of Texas and upon completion of the records for that state, we shall consider whether it will be worth while to continue with other states. We shall be interested in hearing from our readers regarding the value of this series.
Military records of Confederate soldiers do not exist in large quantity and they often fail to provide anything approaching a complete record of the individual's service. Rarely do they contain references to the soldier's family.)
A W. SPARKS (born ca. 1841, his home was in Titus County, Texas.)
A. W. Sparks enrolled as a private in what was called Capt. Charles S. Stewart's Company on Oct 14, 186l, the date on which this unit was accepted into the service of the Confederate States. His age was given as 20 years; his horse was valued at $110 and his equipment at $15. The company was organized at Camp Reeves in Grayson County, Texas. A. W. Sparks was credited with having traveled 145 miles to rendezvous.
This company was successively designated as Captain Stewart's Company; Sims' Regiment Texas Volunteers; Captain English's Company, 4th Regiment Texas Cavalry, and Company I, 9th Regiment Texas Cavalry. The 9th (also known as the 4th and as Sims') Regiment Texas Cavalry was accepted into the service of the Confederate States Oct 14, 186l for twelve months and was re-organized in May, 1862.
A record dated February 28, 1862, states that A. W. Sparks was "on sick furlough, at home, Titus Co., Texas," where he seems to have remained until at least Oct 1862. The muster roll for Nov and December 1862 lists him as "Absent on detached service." In March 1863 he was listed as "Present," but in May and June 1863 he was listed as absent with leave" and on July 31, 1863, he was listed as "sick in camp." In June 1864 he was listed as "Present." On May 13, 1865 he was listed on a "Roll of Prisoners of War of the Ninth Regiment, Texas Cavalry, Company I, Confederate States Army, commanded by Lt. Col. J. C. Bates, surrendered at Citronelle, Alabama, by Lt. Gen. R. Taylor, C.S.A. to Maj. Gen. E. R. S. Canby, U.S.A. May 4, 1865 and paroled at Jackson, Miss., May 13, 1865."
ALBERT SPARKS (born ca. 1841)
Albert Sparks enlisted for the duration of the war at Sabine Pass on September 20, 1861, by S. B. Davis, as a private. On Oct 1, 1861 he joined and was enrolled in Capt. J. M. Blair's Company of what was initially called Capt. J. M. Blair's Company in Likens' Battalion Texas Volunteers. He gave his age as 20 years. This company subsequently became Company A, 11th Battalion Texas Volunteers. Albert Sparks's name appears on the company's muster roll from September through December 1862. The official history of this battalion reads as follows:
This battalion was organized in the latter part of 186l, with one cavalry, one artillery and two infantry companies and known in that field as Likens' Battalion Texas Volunteers. Early in 1862 an infantry company and a cavalry company were added and it was designated the 6th Battalion Texas Infantry. It was reorganized June 17, 1862, and known in the field as A. W. Spaight's Battalion Texas Volunteers. The battalion was broken up Nov 20, 1864, and all but Company B were assigned to the 21st Regiment Texas Infantry as Companies A, E, H, B, F and K.
BAILEY SPARKS (born ca. 1845)
Bailey Sparks enlisted in Capt. Thos. P. Hightower's Company, Waller's Battalion Texas Cavalry, on April 23, 1862, at Marlin, Falls County, Texas, by Thos. P. Hightower. His age was given as 17. He was mustered into the service on April 23, 1862, at Hempstead by E. Waller, Jr. A note on one of the records indicates that he was a substitute for a man named Cornelison. The last record of his being paid was dated September 1, 1863. His name appeared on the muster roll for Company B of this battalion for January and February 1864 with the note "Absent, In Arrest." Following is a summary of the history of this unit:
Waller's Regiment Texas Cavalry was first organized as the 13th, or Waller's Battalion Texas Cavalry with five companies, A to E. Company F was enlisted in Louisiana August 27, 1862. An unidentified company, Captain Menard's, Captain Goode's and Captain Dunn's Companies Texas Cavalry were added from time to time to complete the regiment.
C. A. SPARKS.
C. A. (Cicero Augustus) Sparks enlisted on September 15, 1861, in Waco, Texas, as a private in Company G of the 6th Regiment Texas Cavalry. (This Regiment was also called the 2d and Stone's Regiment Texas Cavalry, it was organized in September 186l for 12 months. It was reorganized under the Conscript Act in May 1862.) On the Company Muster Roll of September and Oct 1862, C. A. Sparks was listed as "present," but in Nov and December 1862 he was listed as "Absent on scout duty." He was listed as "present" again until May 1864 when he was listed as "Absent on detached service." His name appears on a "Roll of Prisoners of War in Company G, 6th Regiment Texas Cavalry, Confederate States Army, commanded by Col. Jack Wharton, surrendered at Citronelle, Ala., by Lieut. Gen. R. Taylor, C.S.A., to Maj. Gen. E. R. S. Canby, U.S.A., May 4, 1865 and paroled at Jackson, Miss., May 13, 1865. He was paroled at Jackson, Mississippi on May 13, 1865.
CHARLES S. SPARKS (born ca. 1844)
Charles S. Sparks appears on a company muster-in roll dated February 15, 1862, at Camp Likens as a private in Capt. John D. Hamilton's Company, 1st Regiment, Johnson's Brigade, Texas Mounted Volunteers. His age was given as 18. His horse was valued at $140 and his equipment at $20. This is the only record pertaining to Charles S. Sparks.
This company subsequently became Company D, 14th Regiment Texas Cavalry. The 14th Regiment Texas Cavalry was organized and mustered into the service of the Confederate States February 15, 1862, and re-orgained May 8, 1862. It was also known as Johnson's Regiment Texas Cavalry and as the 1st Regiment Johnson's Brigade Texas Mounted Volunteers.
D. M. SPARKS (born ca. 1830)
D. M. Sparks was mustered into service as a private on 5 February 1862, in Rusk, Texas (Cherokee County) by A. J. Coupland. His age was given as 32, and he traveled 25 miles to rendezvous. He enlisted for 12 months and joined Capt. W. G. Engledow's Company, which was known under various names: Captain Engledow's Company and Company A, Roberts' Regiment Texas Infantry; Captain Engledow's Company and Company C, 11th Regiment Texas Infantry.
On a muster roll dated June 30, 1862, he was listed as "present, sick." In another muster roll for July and August 1862 he was listed as "Detailed as Gunsmith July 15, '62." In Nov 1862 he was listed as "Ord. Dept. as regimental
gun smith." He seems to have continued in this capacity during much of the war, for a later muster roll carries the note under his name: "Detailed as Regimental Carpenter by order of Col., Roberts September 24, '63" The last record pertaining to D. M. Sparks, dated April 1865, carries the note "Detached Service in Ord. Dept, Tyler, Tex, Spl. Order 292, Nov 22/64."
The 11th (also known as Roberts') Regiment Texas Infantry completed its organization April 9, 1862, with ten companies, A to K, which had previously been mustered into the service of the Confederate States for twelve months. It was reorganized June 23, 1862, under provisions of the Conscript Act and the company letters changed.
Daniel Sparks enlisted for one year on March 26, 1862, at Camp Colbert, Indian Nation, also called Choctau Station; he was sworn into service by M. W. Damron, in Company D, 18th Regiment Texas Cavalry. Also known as Darnell's Regiment of Texas Cavalry, it was accepted into the service of the Confederate States on March 15, 1862, with ten companies. A part of this regiment was captured at Arkansas Post, Ark., January 11, 1863, and exchanged east of the Mississippi River in April and May, 1863, when it was consolidated with similar remnants of the 17th, 24th and 25th Regiments Texas Cavalry.
A muster roll for May and June 1863 does not indicate whether Daniel Sparks was present or note but a note indicates that he was not among those captured at the Arkansas Post. The last record pertaining to Daniel Sparks is a muster roll for January and February 1864 of Capt. M. W. Damron's Company of the 17th Consolidated Cavalry. This company subsequently became Company E, 17th Consolidated Regiment Texas Dismounted Cavalry. This regiment was a field organization formed 1 Jul 1863, in the Trans-Mississippi Department principally of men who had formerly belonged to the 15th, 17th, 18th, 24th and 25th Regiments Texas Cavalry and to the 6th and 10th Regiments Texas Infantry and who had not been captured at Arkansas Post, Ark., January 11, 1863.
Edward Sparks enlisted on May 10, 1862, at Henderson, Texas, for 3 years in Company K, Ochiltree Regiment Texas Infantry. This company was known at various times as Captain Whetstone's Company and Company K, Ochiltree's Regiment Texas Infantry, and as Company I, 18th Regiment Texas Infantry. The 18th (also known as Ochiltree's) Regiment Texas Infantry, with eleven companies, A to L, completed its organization by the election of field officers May 13, 1862.
A muster roll for September and Oct 1862 lists Edward Sparks as "Sick at hospital at Camp Nelson." In Nov 1862 he was listed in the same manner and in December 1862 he was listed as absent at Little Rock Hospital. This is the last record pertaining to Edward Sparks.
ELIJAH SPARKS (born 1840, of Bell County, Texas)
Elijah Sparks enlisted on March 21, 1862, at Belton, Texas. His age was given as 21 years. He was enrolled by F. A. Supple and was mustered into service at Camp Terry in Austin, Texas, on April 11, 1862, for 3 years as a corporal in Capt. Hillery M. Bouldin's Company, Allen's Regiment Texas Infantry. He traveled 68 miles to rendezvous. This company subsequently became Company I, and the regiment became the 17th Regiment Texas Infantry. According to the official record.
Elijah Sparks "Died at Camp Nelson, Nov 23, 1862, of Con't'n of Brain, Prairie Co., Ark." In another record his disease was called "Brain Fever."
(Editor's note: The portrait of Elijah Sparks appeared on the cover of the Quarterly for June 1955 (Vol. Ill, No. 2, Whole No. 10). He was a son of William C. and Jane (Alexander) Sparks. He married in Bell County, Texas, in 186l, Sarah Atlas Reed, daughter of William and Emeline (Cobb) Reed. They had one child, a daughter, named Jane Sparks who was born in 1863 and died near Holland, Texas, in 1907. She married Albert Johnston McKay. See the above issue of the Quarterly, page 73, for additional information.)
ISAAC SPARKS (born ca. 1837)
Isaac Sparks enlisted for 12 months on 20 January 1862, at Dallas as a private in Capt. John T. Colt's Company of Darnell's Regiment Texas Volunteers. This later became Company E of the 18th Regiment Texas Cavalry. His age was given as 25 years. He was enrolled by John Coit on February 24, 1862, and his name appears on a muster-roll dated Dallas County, Texas, March 15, 1862, his horse was valued at $125 and his equipment at $20.
The 18th (also known as Darnell's) Regiment Texas Cavalry was accepted into the service of the Confederate States March I5, 1862, with eleven companies, and reorganized May 26, 1862, with ten companies. Captain Witt's Company having become an independent command. A part of this regiment was captured at Arkansas Post, Ark., January 11, 1863, and exchanged east of the Mississippi River in April and May, 1863, when it was consolidated with similar remnants of the 17th, 24th and 25th Regiments Texas Cavalry.
The muster-rolls from June 30, 1862, through December 1862/as present. He was among those captured at Fort Hindman, Arkansas Post, Ark., on January 11, 1863, and was taken to the Union prison at Camp Douglas, Illinois, where he was paroled on April 2, 1863, and delivered at City Point, Virginia, on April 10, 1863. He is shown as present from April 1863 until September 1863, when he was listed as "Absent, wounded, in hospital." He died "at Newman, Ga., January the 7, 1864."
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 FRANCIS MARION SPARKS
Our only record of Francis M. Sparks is a company muster-roll for the period from September 19 to December 1863 on which he is listed as a Second Lieutenant in Company I, 2d Regiment Texas Cavalry. There is the note that he enlisted for a period of six months at Camp Buford. He was paid $20.80 for the use of his horse and was "Elected 2d Lt. September 18, 1863." The 2d Regiment Texas Cavalry, State Troops, was organized in 1863 with ten companies, A to K. Some of the companies appear to have served in an organization known as the 13th Battalion Texas State Troops prior to the formation of this regiment and some of the men subsequently served in Bourland's Regiment Texas Cavalry and Capt. Jones' Company Texas Cavalry.
Fred Sparks, doubtless a nickname for Frederick, enlisted on 1 April 1862, in Corinth, Mississippi, in Capt. J. S. Andersen's Company (Wharton Guards) Cavalry. This company, which subsequently became Company L of the 8th Regiment of Texas Cavalry, was enlisted on 1 April 1862, at Corinth, Mississippi, for 90 days. The 8th Regiment Texas Cavalry (also known as Terry's, the 1st, and the 8th Regiment Texas Rangers) had been organized in Oct 186l with companies A through K. As already stated, Company L was added to this regiment in Corinth, Mississippi. It is probable that the men joining this new company were Texans who had been discharged from some other unit, and it is quite probable that this Fred Sparks was the same man as listed below. He was appointed 1st Sergeant of Company L and was marked as present from April 1 through June 29, the 90 days for which he enlisted.
FREDERICK SPARKS (also called Fred)
Frederick Sparks was listed as a private in Company B of Davidson's Battalion Texas Cavalry in December 1863, but was "absent, sick per Certificate." No information is given regarding his enlistment. This battalion is known officially as Ragdale's Battalion Texas Cavalry and was organized in Oct 1862. It was known at various times as the 4th Battalion Arizona Brigade, the 2d Battalion Arizona Brigade, the 1st Battalion Arizona Brigade, Davidson's Battalion Texas Cavalry and Daly's Battalion Texas Cavalry.
On January 24, 1864 he was listed as "Absent sick, Hospital Beaumont." A letter is preserved dated March 7, 18614 in which Capt. W. D. (spelling uncertain) of the Fuel and Forage Department at Houston informed a Capt. C. M. Masons "Private F. Sparks, Co. B, Daly's Battalion has made application for detailed employment in the Q.M. Dept. A disabled soldier, his claims are foremost, and I would respectfully request the applicant be granted and he be ordered to report for duty to me." Added to this application is the following statement by Dr. W. P. Riddell, surgeon of the General Hospital at Houston, dated March 7, 1864: "I have examined Pr. F. Sparks of Co. B, Daly, s Battalion & find him unfit for field duty in the consequence of the loss of lower phalanges of three fingers of left hand-stumps still unhealed. I recommend that the detail be granted."
Records indicate that Frederick Sparks continued on this special assignment for as late as March 1865. Among the papers in his file is a torn document dated August 7, 1865, which he signed as a prisoner of war "having been surrendered by E. Kirby Smith" in which Sparks accepted the conditions of parole not to serve in the armies of the Confederate States. He signed this document as "F. Sparks."
It seems quite probable that this Frederick Sparks is the same man as the Fred Sparks in the preceding sketch.
HENRY SPARKS (from Hopkins County?)
Henry Sparks enlisted on September 1, 1862, in Hopkins County for 3 years as a private in Company G, 23rd Regiment of Texas Cavalry. The 23rd (also known as the 27th) Regiment Texas Cavalry completed its organization about Oct 25 1862, with ten companies, A to K. The regiment appears to have served as Dismounted Cavalry at the close of the war.
Henry Sparks was admitted to the General Hospital in Houston on 1 May 1863, with "acute dysentery" and was discharged on May 25, 1863. On Nov 18, 1863, he was listed as absent from his regiment since August 31, 1863, because of illness by authority of the Regimental Surgeon, with the note "Furloughed to Hopkins Co, Texas-has not reported." On a company muster-roll for January and February 1861, Henry Sparks was listed as "Absent sick since Sept 4th '63 & reporting by certificate." The last record pertaining to Henry Sparks is a regimental return for March 1865 where Henry Sparks is listed as absent "with leave furloughed 28 days."
HUGH S. SPARKS (born ca. 1843)
Hugh S. Sparks enlisted on Oct 25, 186l, in Houston, Texas, "for the war." His age "was given as 18 years and he was credited with having traveled 100 miles to rendezvous. The officer with whom he enlisted was identified as "Lieut. Sparks." On the same date, Oct 25, 186l, he was enrolled in Capt. James S. Lauderdale's Company in Nelson's Regiment Texas Volunteers. This company subsequently became Company G, 10 Regiment Texas Infantry. The 10th (also called Nelson's) Regiment Texas Infantry was organized in Oct 186l with eight companies, A-to H, which had been mustered into service on various dates from Oct 13 to 31, 186l. Most of the members of this regiment were captured at Arkansas Post, Ark., January 11, 1863, and exchanged in April, 1863, east of the Mississippi River where they were temporarily consolidated in May, 1863, with similar remnants of the 6th Regiment Texas Infantry and the 15th Regiment Texas Cavalry.
Hugh S. Sparks was listed as present on various muster "rolls and in February 1862 was listed as "camp cook, daily duty." However, from February 28 to June 30, 1862, he was listed as "absent sick at Brownsville, Arkansas." The muster-roll for July and August 1862 lists him as "sick in quarters," but he was on duty in September and Oct 1862. He was taken prisoner with most other members of the regiment at Arkansas Point on January 11, 1863, and taken to Camp Douglas in Chicago, Illinois, where he died in prison of small pox on February 23, 1863. A report indicates that he had "no effects," that is, no property at the time of his death.
Only one brief document pertains to this soldier, whose name appears simply as J. Sparks. He is listed as a private in Company D of the 21st Regiment Texas Infantry in the month of Nov 1864. The following notation appears on this record: "With leave. Furlough, 60 days from Oct 12/64 N W Texas." This regiment, also known as Spaight's Regiment of Texas Infantry, was formed on Nov 20, 1864, by the consolidation of four companies of Griffin's Batallion Texas Infantry per S.0. No. 62 Hdqrs. Dist. of Tex., N. Mex. and Ariz., dated Nov 11, 1864. Companies A, B, C and E of Griffin's Battalion Texas Infantry, became Companies I, G, C and D, respectively, and Companies A, C, D, E, F and G, 11th Battalion Texas Infantry, became Companies A, E, H, B, F and K, respectively.
There seems little doubt but that this J. Sparks is the same man as the J. F. Sparks of Company B of Spaight's Battalion, below.
J. F. SPARKS
Only two brief records pertain to J. F. Sparks. He is listed as having enlisted as a private at Sabine Pass on May 8, 1864, in Company B of Spaight's Battalion of Texas Volunteers. Only 1 Jul 1864, he is listed as "absent without leave" from this same company.
This battalion had been organized in 186l and was known as Liken's Battalion of Texas Volunteers. It was reorganized on June 17, 1862, and known in the field as A. W. Spaight's Battalion of Texas Volunteers, but later reorganized as the 11th Battalion of Texas Cavalry. The battalion was broken up on Nov 20, 1864, and Company B (with A.E.F.H, and K) was assigned to the 21st Regiment Texas Infantry.
There seems little doubt but that this J. F. Sparks was the same man who was listed as "J. Sparks," above, in Company D of the 21st Regiment Texas Infantry in Nov 1864.
J. H. SPARKS (born ca. 1844)
J. H. Sparks enlisted on Oct 1, 186l, at Marshall, Texas, as a private in Capt. H. B. Granbury's Company, 7th Regiment Texas Infantry, for 3 years. He was enlisted by Capt. H. B. Granbury and his age was given as 17. He joined the company on Oct 2, 186l, and was enrolled by John Gregg. He traveled 210 miles to rendezvous.
This company was also known as Company B, Bailey's Consolidated Regiment of Infantry. It was formed by the consolidation of Companies A., D, F and G, 7th Regiment Texas Infantry. Bailey's Consolidated Regiment of Infantry was a temporary field organization which was formed in Oct 1862 by order of Gen. Tilghman and consisted of eleven companies, A to L. Companies A and B were composed of a remnant of the 7th Regiment Texas Infantry. The other companies came from two other regiments. The organization appears to have been broken up in January or February 1863, and the men returned to their former commands.
J. H. Sparks was listed as present in a company muster roll for Oct 1, 186l, to 1 Aug 1862. He was captured with his company on February 16, 1862, and was listed as one of 1021 prisoners of war sent from Camp Douglas, Illinois, to Vicksburg to be exchanged on September 3, 1862. On Oct 31, 1862, he was listed on a company muster roll for the Consolidated Company B of the 7th Regiment Texas Infantry. He was listed as having been last paid on July 31, 1862. Another record in his file indicates "Discharged & final statement given Nov 23, 1862. The last record states: "Discharged December 1, 1862; Not paid his bounty."
(Editor's Note: These abstracts of military records of Confederate soldiers named Sparks from Texas will be continued in a future issue of the Quarterly. We should welcome information from any of our readers who can provide personal data for any of these soldiers.)