May 25, 2019

Pages 1364-1367
Whole Number 72


ALFRED SPARKS, born in Kentucky July 1, 1834, died in Danforth, IllInois, June 7, 1916. He married Isabelle Massey in Bracken County, Kentucky, in 1864. He served in Company H, 1st Regiment of Kentucky Infantry Volunteers. File Designation at the National Archives: SC 150,511.

The earliest record copied for us from this file is a statement from the Assistant Adjutant General of the U.S. to the Commissioner of Pensions dated August 19, 1876. Apparently Alfred Sparks had applied for a pension and the Adjutant General 's Office was requested to supply data on his Civil War service. According to this statement, Alfred Sparks was enrolled on July 9, 1861, at Camp Dennison, Kentucky, in Company H, 1st Regiment of Kentucky Infantry Volunteers to serve three years; he was mustered into service as a private on the same day. On August 31, 1862, he was listed as present in Company H. On June 18, 1864, on a company roll prepared at Covington, Kentucky, he was reported as a wagoner, but "Detached as Division Teamster" beginning on June 30, 1863, and returned to duty May 22, 1864. He was mustered out of service with his company on June 15, 1864. According to this report, the Regimental return for June 1862 "reports this man in Genl. Hosptl." but that "Casualty lists of command furnish no evidence of wounds as alleged."

It is apparent that Alfred Sparks was granted a pension. On May 14, 1898, he signed a statement requested by the Bureau of Pensions, swearing that he had been married to Isabelle Massey in 1864 at 1864 at Foster Landing, Bracken County, Kentucky. He stated that he had not been previously married and had no living children.

On August 14, 1909, Alfred Sparks applied for an increase in his pension. He stated that he was a resident of Mason County, Kentucky, and that he had been born July 1, 1834. He appointed S. A. Cuddy as his lawful attorney; byron Rudy and John Walsh signed as witnesses. Alfred Sparks signed this document by mark. It appears that his pension was increased to $20.00 per month.

Alfred Sparks died on June 7, 1916. His last check (for $90.00) was returned to the Bureau of Pensions and from this record it appears that he was living in Danforth, Illinois, at that time.

ALFRED L. SPARKS, born January 14, 1843 in Salem, New Jersey, and died. June 17, 1908, in Camden, New Jersey; he was a son of David and Abigal Sparks; he married Mariah Butler in Salem on September 30, 1866; he served in the Sixth Regimental Band (New Jersey), in the 20th Pennsylvania Cavalry, and in Capt. Stroud a Company of Pennsylvania Volunteers. File Designation: WC 665,414.

Alfred L. Sparks applied for and was granted a pension sometime prior to 19014. The earliest document fran his file supplied by the National Archives is a questionnaire sent to Alfred L. Sparks by the Bureau of Pensions on January 15, 19014. His address was given as 6214 Benson St., Camden, New Jersey. He filled out this questionnarie on March 23, 19014, stating that he had been born January 14, 18143, in Salem, New Jersey, and that he had been married to Maria Butler in Salem by the Rev. John R. Murphy. He stated he had not been married previously and that he had two living children: Mary Archer Test and Alfred L. Sparks, Jr. He stated that he had enlisted on June 25, 1863, and again on July 15, 1864, in Philadelphia. His home before his enlistment had also been Salem, New Jersey. He was discharged on January 6, 1864, at Harrisburg the first time and at Philadelphia on July 15, 1864, the second time. He stated he had lived in Salem, New Jersey, until 1876, then at Swedesboro, New Jersey, until 1881, then had moved to Camden, New Jersey. He gave his occupation as Railroad Conductor. He described himself at the time of his service as 5 feet 8½ Inches tall, weighing 136 pounds, with grey eyes, light hair and light complexion. He signed his name as Alfred L. Sparks, with Samuel S. Weaver and Susan Weaver acting as witnesses.

On February 16, 1907, Alfred L. Sparks applied for an increase in his pension. Here he stated that he had first enlisted at Trenton, New Jersey, on October 14, 1861, as a musician in the Sixth Regimental Band and was honorably discharged near Alexandria, Virginia, on August 9, 1862. He stated that he also served as Chief Trumpeter in the 20th Pennsylvania Cavalry, enrolling on June 24, 1863, and being honorably discharged on January 6, 1864. He stated that he also served as sergeant in Capt. Geo. D. Stroud's Company, Pennsylvania Volunteers, for 100 days from July 18, 1864, to October 31, 1864. He gave his occupation in this document as Shoemaker. He signed his name first as A. L. Sparks, then as Alfred L. Sparks. John W. Bodine signed as a witness, having known him for 25 years; John Cromie also signed, indicating he had known him for 14 years.

Alfred L. Sparks died on June 17, 1908, in Camden, New Jersey. His death certificate gave his parents' names as David and Abigal Sparks; his age as 65 years, 5 months and 13 days. The cause of death was given as "Softening of the Brain" and the length of illness as two years. His doctor was W. G. DuBois. He was buried in the Harleigh Cemetery in Camden.

On June 23, 1908, Maria Sparks, widow of Alfred L. Sparks, applied for a pension. She gave her age as 62 and her residence as Camden, New Jersey. She said she had been married to Alfred L. Sparks in Salem, New Jersey, on September 29, 1866, by the Rev. John Murphy. She stated that she had no children under sixteen. She signed her name as Maria Sparks. Mary A. Test, her daughter, signed as a witness, stating that she had known Mrs. Sparks for 35 years. Oscar B. Test also signed as a witness, stating he had known her for 20 years.

Mrs. Sparks submitted with her application a statement signed by the County Clerk of Salem County, Benjamin E. Harris, that the marriage of Alfred L. Sparks to Mariah Butler, both of Salem, on September 30, 1866, by John R. Murphy, Pastor of the Salem Baptist Church, was recorded in Book C, page 357 of the marriage records in his office. ALLEN SPARKS born ca. 1840, probably in Kentucky; he died in service on June 30, 1864 in Tennessee; he married Anna Gipson in Lawrence County, Kentucky, on October 1, 1863. File Designation at the National Archives: Widow Pension File 145635.

On July 19, 1864, Anna Sparks, widow of Allen Sparks, appeared before a notary public in Lawrence County, Kentucky, to make application for a widow's pension. She stated that she was 22 years old and a resident of Peach Orchard, Lawrence County, Kentucky. She stated that her husband, Allen Sparks, had been a private in Company G, commanded by Captain John C. Collins, in the 14th Regiment of Infantry Volunteers commanded by Col. G. W. Gallup, and that he had died at the General Hospital in Tennessee on June 30, 1864. She also stated that she had been married to Allen Sparks at Louisa, Lawrence County, Kentucky, on October 1, 1863, and that her maiden name had been Anna Gipson. She stated that she had no children.

With her application, Anna Sparks submitted a true copy of her marriage license from Lawrence County. Silvester B. Miller, a Baptist preacher, had performed the marriage. Anna Sparks also included with her application the following document signed by her husband's commanding officer:

"Station at Louisa, State of Kentucky, 28th day of November 1864, I, John C. Collins, Captain of Company G, Fourteenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, certify that Allen Sparks was a private in my Company, that he was mustered into the service of the United States on the 10th day of December 1861 and that he died at General Hospital in the State of Tennessee on the 30th day of June 1864 of Disease contracted while in the service of the United States.

                                                                                       Given und. My hand this the 28th day of
                                                                                       November 1864
                                                                                       John C. Collins Capt.
                                                                                       Co. G 14th Regt. KY. Vol."

On March 23, 1865, the Adjutant General's Office also supplied proof of Allen Sparks's service and death, noting that he had been mustered into service on December 14, 1861, at Camp Wallace, Kentucky, to serve three years and that the muster roll of Company G of the 14th Regiment dated January 30, 1865, carried the statement "Died in Gen 'l Hosp't Chattanooga, Tenn., June 30th 1864 of chronic diarrhea."

A pension of $8.00 per month was approved for Anna Sparks commencing on June 30, 1864. On October 22, 1865, Anna Sparks married as her second husband, Ellis Booth, in Lawrence County, Kentucky. On April 16, 1870, Anna Booth (formerly Anna Sparks) wrote to the pension office explainng that she had been the widow of Allen Sparks and that the last payment of her pension had been only through March 14, 1865, and that she was entitled to payment between March 14, 1865, and her remarriage on October 23, 1865. She appointed J. F. Steward of Paintsville, Kentucky, as her attorney to collect this "arrears." She signed her name by mark and stated that she resided on Sandy River in Johnson County, Kentucky.

On October 31, 1870, Anna Booth again applied for this arrearage and George W. Pack and John B. Pack signed as witnesses. Whether she ever collected this is not known. ALLEN SPARKS, born June 1, 1822, in Lewis County, Kentucky, died April 26, 1907, in Clayton County, Iowa, son of James and Elizabeth (Gilman) Sparks; married (first) Martha Moore and (second) Sarah A. Woodward. He served in Company C, 3rd Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry. National Archives File Designation: WC 637,531.

Sometime in 1879 Allen Sparks of Clayton County, Iowa, made application for a Civil War pension. We do not have a copy of his application, but on December 23, 1879, the Adjutant General 'a Office responded to the Commissioner of Pensions regarding Allen Sparks's service. According to this report, Allen Sparks was enrolled on June 5, 1861, at Keokuk, Iowa, in Company C of the 3rd Regiment of Iowa Volunteers to serve three years or during the War and that he was mustered into service as a corporal on June 8, 1861. He was reported as present for duty in his company in October 1861; in December he was reported as "sick in Burton Barracks". His company was in action at the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., and at the Battle of Shiloh where he was "slightly bruised in abdomen by spent ball" on April 2, 1862. From August 18, 1862, until April 30, 1863, he was absent from his company "on recruiting service" but was back on duty thereafter. On July 12, 1863, he was wounded at the battle at Jackson, Mississippi. He lost his right index finger and also developed a hernia. On September 19, 1863, he was given a disability discharge, a document which he apparently sent along with his application for it is preserved among his papers at the National Archives. At the time of his discharge, he held the rank of sergeant. According to his discharge certificate, he had been born in Lewis County, Kentucky, was 39 years old, was 5 feet 10 inches tall, of fair complexion, with grey eyes and brown hair, and a farmer by occupation.

Allen Sparks was granted a pension for this service. On July 14, 1898, he responded to a questionnaire of the Pension Office, stating that he had been married twice; that his first wife had been Martha Moore and that she had died in Leavenworth, Kansas, in March 1857. He stated that he had been married to Sarah C. Woodward (his second wife) on September 25, 1862, at National, Clayton County, Iowa, by the Rev. S. Alger. He listed his children as follows: (the first four were by his first wife) Winfield Sparks, born 1852 Josephus Sparks, born 1854 Benjamin Sparks, born 1856 Henry Sparks, born 1857 Estella Sparks, born July 1, 1863 James K. Sparks, born August 24, 1867 Edward P. (or Edwin) Sparks, born January 20, 1871 Anna M. Sparks, born March 7, 1876

On February 26, 1907, Allen Sparks applied for an increase in his pension. He was a resident of McGregor, Clayton County, Iowa, and said he was 84 years old. He stated also that he had been born in Lewis County, Kentucky, on June 1, 1822. He said he had lived in McGregor since leaving the service in 1863 "except two years in Farmersburg, Iowa." He signed his name as Allen Sparks; Charles A. Jordan, who said he had known Allen Sparks for 20 years, and tilliam R. Kinnain who said he had known him for 30 years, signed as witnesses.

Allen Sparks died on April 26, 1907 "of old age." His death certificate is on file with the other documents and from this we learn that his father's name had been James Sparks and his mother had been Elizabeth Gilman. He was buried in the Oakland Cemetery near McGregor. His son, Edward Sparks of McGregor, supplied this information.

On May 21, 1907, the widow of Allen Sparks, Sarah A. Sparks, applied for a pension. She stated that it was her belief that the first wife of Allen Sparks, whom she called "Marthy Sparks," had died in Kansas City, Missouri. She stated that her own maiden name had been Sarah A. Woodward and that she had been married to Allen Sparks on September 25, 1862, by the Rev. Simon Alger.

(Editor's note: See the Quarterly of June 1970 (Vol. XVIII, No. 2, Whole No. 70, pp. 1315-1316) for additional information on Allen Sparks and his branch of the Sparks family.)