May 9, 2014

Pages 1491-1494
Whole Number 78

UNION SOLDIERS NAMED SPARKS
WHO APPLIED, OR WHOSE HEIRS APPLIED, FOR PENSIONS
FOR SERVICE IN THE CIVIL WAR



(Editor 's Note: In the Quarterly for Sep 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 $1.50 (formerly $1. 00), 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 $1.50 provided. A complete search of all the papers in the file of a pensioner would often provide additional data of significance.)

AQUILA V. SPARKS born ca. 1834 Baltimore, Md.; died April 10, 1897; married Fannie B. Lyle December 13, 1877, in St. Louis, Missouri. He was a resident of Ouachita County, Arkansas, when he applied for a pension in 1890. Served in Co. K, 31st Regiment of Missouri Volunteers and Co. D of the 32d Regiment of Missouri Infantry. Certificate no.  470,295.

On Sep 26, 1890, Aquila V. Sparks of the town of Camden, in Ouachita County, Ark., appeared before a justice of the peace named J, B. Fredheim to make application for a pension. He stated that he was 56 years old. He stated that he had enrolled in July 1862 in Co. B, 31st Regiment of Missouri Volunteers and that he had been discharged at St. Louis, Missouri., in July 1865. He stated that he felt he was eligible for a pension because of "partial loss of eyesight and crippled hand."  He stated that he had not applied for a pension previously. He signed his application as "A. V. Sparks." His witnesses were M. C. Booth and Fred G, Snyder.

The Bureau of Pensions requested that the War Department provide a record of this service. On Sep 21, 1893, it was reported that Aquila V. Sparks had been enrolled as a private in Company K of the 31st Regiment of Missouri Infantry on Sep 30, 1862, and had been mustered out as a private with the company on July 18, 1865. It was stated that by the time his discharge, his company had become Company D of the 32d Regiment of Missouri Infantry. It was reported that he had been missing in action on December 31, 1862, at Fall's Bluff, Mississippi, a battle that had been fought on December 29, 1862. He had been reported to be a prisoner at Jackson, Miss., on April 16, 1863, having been captured at Vicksburg, Miss., on December 29, 1862; he had been paroled at New Orleans, La,, on March 13, 1863; he had reported at Camp Paroled, Md,, on May 16, 1863, and had been sent to Benton Barracks on May 19, 1863, where he arrived on May 23 and was sent to join his regiment. He was reported as present with his unit on Oct 31, 1863, but on December 31, 1863, he was Absent on recruiting service,* which he continued until February 29, 1864. From June 30, 1864, to August 31, 1864, he was absent on detached service.

Aquila V. Sparks died on April 10, 1897, according to an application of his widow for a pension dated June 10, 1897. She stated in her application that she was a resident of the town of Webster Groves, in St. Louis County, Missouri. She stated that her maiden name had been Fannie B. Lyle, that she was 43 years old, and that she had been married to Aquilla V. Sparks on December 13, 1877, in St. Louis, Mo,, (Rev. Robert Irwin having married them). In response to the request for the names of children under the age of 16, she gave the following:

Ruth L. Sparks, born Sep 23, 1881
Mattie L. Sparks, born Oct 27, 1883
Judith C. Sparks, born February 20, 1889

She signed her name as "Fannie L. Sparks," and S. A. Moody signed as her witness.

Among the materials copied by the National Archives from this file is the birth certificate of Judith Sparks, youngest child of Aquila V. and Fannie B. (Lyle) Sparks. According to this document, Judith was the fifth "child of this Mother." She was born February 20, 1889, in Webster Groves, Missouri. Her father was identified as A V. Sparks, 55 years of age, born in Baltimore, Md., and a carpenter by occupation. Her mother was identified as Fannie B. Lyle Sparks, born in Louisville, Ky., age 36.

(Editor's Note: From the above records, we know that Aquila V. Sparks was born in or near Baltimore, Md., about 1834. He was living near St. Louis, Missouri., when he enlisted in the Union Army in 1862, and it was in St. Louis that he married Fannie B. Lyle (born ca. 1854) in 1877. At the time he applied for a pension in 1890, he was living in Ouachita Co., Ark., however, his daughter, Judith, had been born in Webster Groves, Missouri., in 1889, and his widow was living in Webster Groves when she rrade application for a pension in 1897. Aquila V. Sparks died on April 10, 1897.

(The name "Aquila" is associated with a Baltimore County, Md, branch of the Sparks family. An Aquila W. Sparks married Dorcas Conway in Baltimore Co., Md., in 1816. He is known to have been a son of Thomas and Rachel (Perdue) Sparks and he lived in Baltimore County, but we have no record of his family. (See the Quarterly of June 1958, Vol. VI, No. 2, Whole No. 22, p. 298.) There is also a record of an Aquila Sparks who married Sarah A. Merryman there in 1823, and an Aquila A. Sparks married Mary Jane Halbert in 1845. This Aquila A. Sparks was probably the Aquila Sparks who was listed with wife Mary Jane on the 1850 census of St. Louis County, Missouri., with a son named Rene Sparks, aged 3 years. His occupation was that of a tinner. (This family was listed twice on the 1850 census of St. Louis, once in the 2d Ward and again in the 4th Ward. He was listed as 26 years old in one case and 29 in the other (thus born ca. 1821-1824) while Mary Jane Sparks was listed as 21 years of age in one case and 23 in the other (thus born ca. 1827-1829). When the 1870 census of St. Louis County was taken, an Aquila Sparks was listed in the town of Carondelet. His age was given as 38, his birth place as Maryland, and his occupation as *house carpenter ." He seems to have been unmarried--living with him as a "laborer" was Oscar Rollins with wife Jenny and baby Alfred.  A thorough search of St. Louis County records would doubtless tell us more about the subject of this sketch.

(An Aquilla Sparks, born in Maryland about 1820, was listed as a teacher, 30 years old, in Dearborn County, Ind., on the 1850 census, There was also an Aquilla Sparks living in Adams County, Ill, in the 1870's. Elijah and Annie Sparks of Baltimore County, Maryland, who were married about 1775, are said to have had a son named Aquila Sparks who moved to "one of the Western States as a young man." (See the Quarterly of June 1958, Vol. VI, No. 2, Whole No. 22, p.

297.))
ASA L SPARKS, of Colrain, Franklin County, Massachusetts; a private in Co. D), 34th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, enrolled December 10, 1863, died in service June 5, 1864. Married Caroline E. Huntley August 15, 1854. File WC 39, 304.

On August 30, 1864, Caroline S. Sparks appeared before a judge of probate named Charles Mattom of Franklin County, Massachusetts, to make application for a pension, She stated that she was a resident of the town of Colrain in Franklin County, that she was 39 years old, and a widow of Asa W. Sparks who had been a private in Co. D, 34th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and "was killed or died at Piedmont near Staunton, Virginia, on June 5, 1864." She stated that she had been married to Asa W. Sparks on August 15, 1854, at Newfane (state not indicated) and that her maiden name had been Caroline E. Huntley, She stated that she had been commonly called "Carrie" and that that name had appeared on her marriage certificate. She stated that she and Asa W. Sparks had had one child, Sarah Leni Sparks, born February 10, 1858. She appointed Samuel H, Reece of Greenfield, Franklin County, as her lawful attorney. She signed her name as "Caroline S. Sparks."

Hugh B. Miller and Ephraim H, Thompson, both of Colrain, signed as witnesses, stating that they had known her and her husband, now deceased, for five years and that they had lived together as man and wife.

The Adjutant General's office made a search of Asa W. Sparks's military record and reported that he had been enrolled in Co. D of the 34th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers on December 10, 1863, at Coirain, Mass,, to serve 3 years and that he had been mustered in on December 10, 1863, at Long Island.  No record could be found of his service after February 1864.

Very few records were supplied by the National Archives from this file, but it appears that a pension was granted to Caroline E. Sparks.  It is reported that she died on March 31, 1905, her last payment of $12 having been made on March 4, 1905. In her application, she indicated that she had attached her marriage certificate to her application, but this was not reproduced by the Archives. We have nothing in our files on this Asa W. and Caroline E, (Huntley) Sparks.

AUGUSTUS M. SPARKS, born Oct 3, 1839, in Massac County, Ill,, died December 16, 1930, in Madison County, Ill; married Mary Ellen Smith August 8, 1867, in Staunton, Ill. He served as a 2d lieutenant in Company I of the 122d Regiment of Illinois Volunteers in the Civil War. File designation: 974,009.

On Oct 4, 1909, Augustus N. Sparks appeared before a notary public in Madison County, Ill., to make application for a pension under an act passed by Congress on 6 February 1907, He stated that he was already receiving a pension (Certificate 974,009) so we know that he had made application earlier, but that document was not xeroxed for us by the National Archives. He stated in this 1909 application that he was 70 years old and a resident of Madison County, Ill. He stated that he had enrolled at Staunton, Ill,, on Sep 4, 1862, as a 2d lieutenant in Co. I of the 122d Regt. of Illinois Volunteers, and that he had been honorably discharged at Mobile, Ala,, on July 15, 1865. He described himself at the time of his enlistment as 5 feet 5 inches tall, with a light complexion, blue eyes, and light colored hair, and a farmer by occupation. He stated that he had been born Oct 3, 1839, in Massac County, Ill. He stated that after the Civil War, he had lived in Madison County, Ill., except for two years when he lived in Montgomery County, Ill. He signed his name as "Augustus M. Sparks"; J, G, Delicote and J. E. Flynn signed the application as witnesses.

On December 27, 1897, while he was a pensioner under an earlier application, Augustus N, Sparks had filled out a questionnaire for the Bureau of Pensions. His address was given as Poag, Ill. He stated that his wife 's maiden name had been Mary Ellen Smith and that they had been married on August 8, 1867, in Staunton, Ill., by the Rev. James Hutchison and that a record of this marriage could be found at Carlinville, in Macoupin County, Ill. He stated that he had not been married previously, He listed his living children as:

Minnie Sparks, born July 8, 1868
Ida May Sparks, born June 24, 1872
Lydia N, Sparks, born 28 January 1876
Gertrude A. Sparks, born 10 January 1878
Frank A. Sparks, born August 11, 1880
Freddie W. Sparks, born Sep 9, 1882
Julia Ellen Sparks, born Sep 4, 1885
Joseph L. Sparks, born April 19, 1890

On Nov 20, 1915, Augustus N. Sparks completed another questionnaire in which he gave the same information as above, adding that his wife had never been married before she married him, but that she had died on July 17, 1913, at Poag, Ill. On this questionnaire, he was asked to list all of his children, whether alive or dead, and in addition to those whom he had listed in 1897, he gave the following:

 Thomas R. Sparks, born Oct 8, 1874 (dead)
 Edward Manin (?) Sparks, born Sep 4, 1885 (dead) (twin of Julia Ellen)

He gave the birth date of Ida May Sparks as June 24, 1870, rather that 1872, and he indicated that Frank A. Sparks, born August 11, 1880, had died between 1897 and 1915.

Augustus W. Sparks was being paid at the rate of $100 per month when he died on December 16, 1930.

(Editor's note: We have done no specific research into the family of Augustus M. Sparks. We have no record of him on the 1850 census of Illinois, although according to the 1860 census he was born in Illinois, He was living in Madison County, Ill,, when the 1860 census was taken, and his post office was given as Upper Alton, He was listed as a farmer with $400 in personal property. Although we know from his pension record that he did not marry until 1867, he was listed as head of a household in 1860: (Madison County, Illinois, Township 5, Range 9, page 212)

Augustus Sparks  20 (Male)  Farmer  Illinois  $400
A. J.             "  19 (Female)        "  
William        "   20 (Male)    Kentucky  
Mary Ann    "  54 (Female)   Virginia  
Elvira           "  26       "   Illinois  
Sarah J.      " 4       "        "  

One may speculate that the A. J. Sparks (female) and William Sparks may have been sister and brother of Augustus. The fact that William's birthplace is given as Kentucky may indicate the family moved from Kentucky to Illinois about 1840. The Mary Ann Sparks (age 54, so born ca. 1806) was probably the mother. (Note that Mary Ann was born in Virginia; on the 1880 census Augustus M. Sparks indicated that his mother had been born in Virginia while his father had been born in Kentucky.) Perhaps his father, whose name we do not know, had died before 1860, The 26-year old Elvira Sparks may have been a widowed sister-in-law with her 4-year-old daughter, Sarah J., but this is just speculation.

When the 1870 census was taken, Augustus M. Sparks was simply listed as "A. Sparks,' aged 30, with the town of Venice as his post office. His wife Mary's age was given as 22 and their eldest child, Minnie, was three.)

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