April 17, 2021

Pages 1453-1452
Whole Number 76


(Editor's Note: In the Quarterly for September 1967 we began publishing abstracts of the pension papers of persons named Sparks who had served on the Union side of the Civil War. The records given here have been abstracted from xerox copies of papers obtained from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. For one dollar, the National Archives provides xerox copies of those papers in a pensioner's file which appear to the clerk making the search to have genealogical value. It should be remembered that our data from these files are, therefore, limited to those documents which the clerk at the National Archives chose to copy for the dollar provided. A complete search of all the papers in the file of a pensioner would often provide additional data of significance.) ANDREW J. SPARKS, born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, ca. 1852; claimed to have served in Company C of Kirk's Regiment, in 1870, but the War Department could find no record of such service. File designation: 1,387,585.

On December 10, 1909, Andrew J. Sparks, a resident of Viands, Wilkes County, North Carolina, made application to the Bureau of Pensions for an invalid pension. He stated that he was 57 years old (thus born ca. 1852) and that he had been enrolled at Trap Hill, North Carolina, in June 1870 as a private in, according to his own words, "I think Co. D, Kirk's Regiment and was released at Raleigh, September 1870," He stated that he had been 18 years old at the time of his enlistment, had been 5 feet, 9 inches tall, with a fair complexion, dark hair and blue eyes. He stated that while he was on duty at Raleigh, North Carolina, in September 1870, one of his fingers was broken and that he received this injury "while putting up tents by a fall of the ridge pole," and that he "was in the Hospital about one week in Raleigh, N.C." He stated that he had not been employed in military or naval service prior to June 1870 nor after September 1870. He signed his name by mark:

(A. J. Sparks). His witnesses were C. E. Durham and V. B. Blackburn.

On January 27, 1910, the Commissioner of Pensions, J. L. Davenport, wrote to Andrew J. Sparks as follows:

"Sir: Your above-cited claim for pension under the general law is rejected on the ground that it does not appear that such an organization as Co. D, Kirk's Regiment, was in the service of the United States, nor do the records of the War Department show that a person named Andrew J. Sparks enlisted in the U.S. Army during the year 1870."

Andrew J. Sparks returned this letter to the Bureau of Pensions with the following note: "I volunteered under J. Q. A. Bryan at Traphill & was attached to Kirk's Regiment at Raleigh, N.C. I am not right certain about the name of the Co. but think it was Co. C."

From the records furnished by the National Archives from this file, it does not appear that Andrew J. Sparks was ever granted a pension.

(Editor's Note: It is curious that a Southerner would have applied for a U.S. pension for service in the Union Army. If he served in the unit he claimed, this must have been a unit assigned to North Carolina during the Reconstruction period. One wonders whether records of such service were deliberately not kept by the U.S. Government at that time.) Andrew J. Sparks was a son of Joel and Charlotte (Durham) Sparks and a grandson of Joel Sparks, Jr., and his wife, Nancy (Blackburn) Sparks. His great-grandfather was John Sparks (born February 25, 1753) who served in the American Revolution.

For a record of this family, see the Quarterly of December 1955, Whole No. 12, pp. 97-104. Andrew J. Sparks's father, Joel Sparks, was born ca. 1826 - - he was a brother of the Robert Sparks who was the subject of a sketch in the Quarterly of September 1970, Whole No, 71, pp. 1346-1349. Joel Sparks married Charlotte Durham in Wilkes County, N.C., the marriage bond being dated June 21, 1846. From census records, it appears that Joel and Charlotte (Durham) Sparks were the parents of the following children: Caroline Sparks, born ca. 1846 George W. Sparks, born ca. 1848 Nancy Sparks, born ca. 1850 Andrew J. Sparks, born ca. 1852 (the applicant for a pension) Julia Sparks, born ca. 1853 Martha Sparks, born ca. 1854 Dovia (or Dovey) Sparks, born ca. 1855 Joel Sparks, born ca. 1857 Mary J. Sparks, born ca. 1859 William Sparks, born ca. 1862

(Charlotte, wife of Joel Sparks and mother of the applicant for a pension, died prior to 1870, at least she was not listed with the family when the 1870 census was taken. We have no record of Andrew J. Sparks having married.)