Whole Number 89
(Editor's Note: From time to time in past issues of the Quarterly, we have published abstracts of the pension files of Union soldiers who served in the Civil War. A great many Union soldiers and their widows received Federal pensions for their service and the papers comprising their files in the National Archives in Washington contain fascinating records of both historical and genealogical significance. We have an index of all of the pension files for persons named Sparks that was compiled for us a number of years ago by Carrie Grant Heppen. There are 607 Sparks names on this list.
For $2.00 it is possible to obtain from the National Archives xerox copies of selected documents from a Civil War pensioner's file. When such an order is received at the National Archives, a clerk goes through the soldier's file and makes a copy of each document that he or she thinks might have genealogical value to the person who has submitted the order. One can never be sure, of course, whether the clerk has made a wise selection, and one always wonders what valuable records may not have been copied. One can request that everything in the file be copied, but the cost for this can be considerable. Some files contain as many as seventy-five documents.
Following are abstracts made by Dr. Paul E. Sparks of the documents that have been selected for us from nine Civil War pension files. Each of these nine men was a descendant of William Sparks (born ca. 1760, died about 1834). William Sparks was a member of that branch of the Sparks family that went from Prince Georges County, Maryland, to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, about 1777. About 1800, some members of this family moved to Adair County, Kentucky, and then on westward to Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. Paul E. Sparks is presently working on a lengthy article on this branch of the family and would welcome correspondence with the descendants of any of the nine Civil War soldiers whose pension files are described in the following pages.)
|CHARLES W. SPARKS,||son of William Walton and Lucinda (Gibson) Sparks, was born ca. 1814 and died on March 15, 1905. He married (1st) Nancy J. Royse on Oct 5, 1865; (2d) Sarah A. Davis on Oct 1, 1877; (3d) Nancy J. Sullivan on Nov 11, 1880; and (4th) Laura J. Mooneyham on Nov 14, 1882. His last (5th) marriage was to Mrs. R. M. McCollum on 3 February 1899. He served in Co. L, 13th Regt. Ky. Cavalry Volunteers. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 11311,159. Minor Cert. No. 613,510.|
Charles W. Sparks applied for a disability pension on July 11, 1886, stating that he had enlisted as a corporal in Co. L, 13th Regt. Ky. Cavalry at Lebanon, Ky., on September 28, 1863, and had served until he was mustered out with his company on 10 January 1865, at Camp Nelson, Ky. He said that while his unit was stationed at Celina, Tenn., in the spring of 1864, he was attacked by a severe case of measles which affected his chest and arms to the extent that he was unable to perform his usual amount of manual labor. He said that he was 42 years of age and lived at Sparksville, Adair County, Ky. John H. Wilson, Josiah Sparks, T. S. Wootten, and James A. Traylor attested to his application.
On March 4, 1887, the Adjutant General's Office confirmed Sparks's military service, including his illness, and he was placed on the pension rolls by Invalid Certificate No. 434,159. In 1898, he responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions as follows: He had married, first, Nancy Rose, in 1865 with M. Roach performing the ceremony in Adair County, and he had married L. J. Mooneyham in 1881 with S. J. Loveall performing the ceremony. His first wife had died on August 27, 1877, in Green County, Ky., while his wife, L. J. Mooneyham Sparks, and died on April 22, 1898. He had two children by his first wife, John W. Sparks, born Nov 3, 1866, and Charley Sparks, born 1 May 1875. by his wife, L. J. Mooneyham Sparks, he had three children, Knall Sparks, born August 27, 1885; Walton Sparks, born September 8, 1891, and Joe K. Sparks, born February 20, 1894.
Charles W. Sparks died on March 15, 1905. Three months later, the Adair County Clerk, T. R. Stults, sent the Bureau of Pensions a copy of the marriage certificate of Charles W. Sparks and Laura J. Mooneyham. They had been married on Nov 14, 1882, at the home of Daniel Mooneyham by Stephen J. Loveall. Witnesses were Louisa Mooneyham and Susan Mooneyham.
On Nov 13, 1905, the Clerk of Grayson County, Texas, sent the Bureau of Pensions a copy of the marriage license issued to Charles W. Sparks and Mrs. R. M. McCollum by which they were married on 3 February 1899, by the Grayson County Judge, J. D. Woods.
The last document (in chronological order) in the file supplied by the National Archives is an affidavit by Charles Sparks, son of Charles W. Sparks, dated April 2, 1906. He stated that he was 30 years of age and was making the affidavit for the purpose of obtaining a pension for his wards, Walton Sparks and Joe K. Sparks, both of them sons of Charles W. Sparks, deceased, and both of them under 16 years of age. He said that Charles W. Sparks had died at his home at Weed, Adair County,Ky., on March 15, 1905, of heart disease; that he left no surviving widow, his last wife having been divorced from him on September 24, 1903; and that his only surviving legitimate children under 16 years of age were those named above.
Charles Sparks further stated that Charles W. Sparks had married Nancy Roys on Oct 10, 1865, and that she died on August 27, 1877 in Green Co., Ky. Charles W. Sparks had married a second time to Sarah A. Davis on Oct 1, 1877, in Green Co. and they were divorced on Nov 22, 1879. He married, third, Nancy J. Sullivan in Russell Co., Ky., on Nov 11, 1880, and she died on August 18, 1882. The fourth marriage of Charles W. Sparks was to Laura J. Mooneyham in Adair County on Nov 14, 1882, and she died at Whitewright, Texas, on April 22, 1898. The last marriage of Charles W. Sparks was to Mrs. R. M. McCollum on 3 February 1899, and they were divorced on September 25, 1903.
Charles Sparks named Thomas A. Murrell of Columbia, Ky., to prosecute the claim for his wards. He signed the application as "Charlie" Sparks and gave his address as Weed, Ky. E. M. Staples and N. R. Roach attested to the affidavit. Apparently the minor heirs of Charles W. Sparks were awarded a pension, for Minor Certificate No. 613,510 was issued; however, there is nothing in the documents supplied by the National Archives to indicate the date of issuance or the amount.
|GREENUP SPARKS,||son of Jeremiah and Rachel (Jones) Sparks, was born ca. 1845 and he died on September 1, 1898. He married Mary Ann England on December 14, 1865, in Adair Co., Ky. He served in Co. A and Co. B of the 1st Regt. Ky. Light Art. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 511,725 and Widow Cert. No. 478,915.|
The only document obtained from the pension file of Greenup Sparks is a statement of the date of his death. This statement, issued at Louisville, Ky., on February 15, 1899, by Lisin Combs, Pension Agent, shows that Greenup Sparks, Private, Co. B, 1st Regt. Ky. Light Artillery, who was a pensioner under Invalid Certificate No. 511,725, and who was receiving a pension of $12 per month, had been dropped from the pension rolls because of his death on September 1, 1898.
Other records show that Greenup Sparks served in the 1st Regiment Kentucky Light Artillery from August 1861 until Nov 15, 1865. He applied for an invalid pension on May 27, 1889, and was on the pension rolls at the time of his death. His widow, Mary Ann (England) Sparks, applied for a widow's pension which was granted on Oct 5, 1898.
|JEREMIAH J. SPARKS,||son of Truelove and Sarah (Guessford) Sparks, born March 11, 1839, died June 29, 1917. He married (1st) Sarah Rayburn in Jasper Co., Iowa, on February 22, 1866; he married (2d) Mary (Mick) Gosnell in 1915. He served in Co. E, 4th Regt. Iowa Cavalry. File Designation: Inv. Certif. No. 348,235.|
On May 22, 1880, Jeremiah J. Sparks, Lynnville, Iowa, made application for an invalid pension for service in the 4th Regt. Iowa Cavalry. He stated that on Oct 22, 1861, he had enlisted for three years in Co. E under the command of Edward W. Dee and was discharged on December 5, 1864, at Davenport, Iowa. He said he had suffered a rupture while engaged in pursuing General Price's army in the Ozark Mountains after the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862. He was hospitalized at Keokuk, Iowa, and Memphis,
Tenn., during the summer of 1863. He stated that he was a farmer; 41 years of age, 5 ft. 11½ in. tall; and had a dark complexion, dark hair, and hazel eyes. John G. Rayburn and Joseph Satchell were identifying witnesses.
Jeremiah J. Sparks received a pension under Invalid Certificate No. 348,235 issued on March 17, 1882. The Adjutant General's Office confirmed his military, service and his hospitalization, but stated that the cause of his hospitalization was not on his service record.
In January 1907, the Bureau of Pensions asked the War Department to furnish a "full military and medical history of Jeremiah J. Sparks, including his personal description."' In the reply, the Military Secretary's Office confirmed the information given earlier and added the following: Sparks was born in Morgan County, Ill.; he had been treated while in the service for diarrhea and general debility; no other record of disability had been found.
In 1909, Jeremiah J. Sparks applied for pension benefits under the Act of Congress of 6 February 1907, and reaffirmed much of the information he had given earlier, but added the following: He was now 70 years old, having been born on March 11, 1839. He had enlisted at Grinnell, Iowa, for three years or for the duration of the war. He had continuously lived at Lynnville, Iowa, until ten years ago when he had moved to New Sharon, Mahaska County, Iowa.
When Jeremiah J. Sparks died at New Sharon, Iowa, on June 29, 1917, he was receiving a pension of $30 per month. His widow, Mary Sparks, made application for a remarried widow's pension on July 12th and gave the following information: She was 73 years of age and was formerly the widow of Hiram Gosnell who had served in the 10th Regt. Iowa Volunteers until his discharge in September 1864. She had married Gosnell on December 6, 1866, under her maiden name of Mary Mick and after his death in 1911, she received a pension under Widow Certificate No. 722,103. When she married J. J. Sparks in 1915, her pension had been terminated, but now that he had died, she asked to be placed on the pension roll as a remarried widow. David Steen, age 77 years, and John M. Steen, age 67 years, both of New Sharon, testified to her information, and she was again placed on the pension rolls under her former certificate and continued to receive a pension until her death on February 16, 1921.
|18.104.22.168 MATTHEW SPARKS,||son of William and Elizabeth (Cochran) Sparks, born January 25, 1831, died June 7, 1893. He married (1st) Mary Ann (England) McNeeley on March 26, 1849, in Adair Co., Ky.; he married (2d) Juliet Akin on January 21, 1869, in Adair Co., Ky.; and he married (3rd) Melvina (Loy) McGinnis on September 11, 1892, in Adair Co., KY. He served in Co. B, 49th Regt. Indiana Infantry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 313,743.|
Matthew Sparks enlisted in Co. B, 49th Regt. Indiana Infantry Volunteers on Nov 3, 1861, at Jeffersonville, Ind., for a term of three years and he was discharged because of chronic laryngitis on 8 January 1863 at Louisville, Ky. According to his discharge certificate, he was 33 years of age; born in Adair Co., Ky.; 5 ft. 7 in. tall; and had a light complexion, light hair, and blue eyes. He was a farmer by occupation. The certificate was signed by the Acting Assistant Surgeon at Hospital No. 7, William W. Goldsmith.
On December 19, 1882, Matthew Sparks applied for an invalid pension, stating that after he returned to Adair County following his discharge he had received medical treatment for twelve years for rheumatism and erysipelas from Dr. Francis McGlasson of Breeding, Ky. The application was attested to by Oscar Laviers, J. F. Montgomery, Rollen Hurt, and George S. Field. The Bureau of Pensions issued Invalid Certificate No. 313,743, but there is no record in the documents furnished by the National Archives of the amount nor the date of issuance. On April 6, 1883, the Adjutant General's Office confirmed the statements of Matthew, but stated that there was no evidence of the alleged disabilities in his military records. The report did state, however, that the regimental hospital records were not on file.
On July 14, 1885, the former commanding officer of the 49th Regt. Indiana Infantry, Col. James Reiggin, age 55, and Stephen W. Gibbs, age 40, formerly a private in Co. B, 49th Regt. Ind. Inf., both of Jeffersonville, Indiana, made affidavits that they were well acquainted with Matthew Sparks as a military comrade, since they had served in the same company and regiment, and that on March 14, 1862, on a march to Big Creek Gap in Tennessee, Matthew Sparks had been attacked by rheumatism. They further stated that, while they were not physicians and could not confirm the illness as rheumatism, the illness was of such severity that it was the cause of his discharge from the service as unfit for further duty. John E. Cole and M. 0. Craig witnessed the affidavit.
Matthew Sparks died on June 7, 1893, and his widow, Melvina Sparks, age 29, of Fair Play, Adair County, Ky., made application for a widow's pension on September 12, 1893. She said that she was not familiar with her husband's military service, but that when he died, he was receiving a pension of $24 per month. They were married on September 11, 1892, by Russell Harvey, a minister, at the home of Mrs. G. B. McGinnis, Sr. She said that this was the third marriage for Matthew and that both of his former wives had died. She married Sparks under the name of Melvina McGinnis since she was the widow of G. B. McGinnis, Jr., who had died in July 1888. She stated further that Matthew Sparks had left two children under sixteen years of age, both born to his second wife. They were Joe N. Sparks, born February 24, 1879, and Vic Z. Sparks, born August 11, 1882. The application was attested to by Altena McGinnis and Fannie McGinnis. There is nothing in the file to indicate what action was taken upon the application
The last document (in chronological order) among the papers provided by the National Archives from the pension file of Matthew Sparks is an affidavit by Melvina Sparks, his widow, made on June 12, 1894, in which she reaffirmed all of the statements she had made on the earlier application, but added the following: Her maiden name was Melvina Loy and she was now living at Gradyville, Ky. Rollen Hurt and Matthew Taylor testified to the affidavit and stated that they knew Melvina Sparks to be the identical person she represented herself to be. Although there is nothing in the papers furnished to show what action was taken, apparently no pension was issued to her.
|MATTHEW T. SPARKS,||son of John R. and Elizabeth (Matthews) Sparks, born Nov 5, 1838; died in Andersonville Prison on July 9, 1864. He married Martha Starr at Lynn Grove Township, Jasper County, Iowa, on Oct 6, 1857. He served in Co. K, 5th Regt. Iowa Inf. Vol. from July 15, 1861, until his death. File Designation: Wid. Certif. No. 67,072 and Minor Certif. No. 137,983.|
The documents from the file of Matthew T. Sparks that were furnished by the National Archives do not contain the application of his widow, Martha (Starr) Sparks, the first reference to her pension being in a letter from the Adjutant General's Office to the Commissioner of Pensions, dated August 4, 1865, in which receipt of Pension Application No. 100,689 is acknowledged. According to this letter, Matthew T. Sparks had enlisted on July 15, 1861, at Burlington, Iowa, in Co. K, 5th Regiment Iowa Infantry Volunteers to serve for three years; he died on July 9, 1864, while a prisoner in Andersonville, Georgia. Apparently the pension was granted, but there is no record of the date of issuance nor of the amount.
The next records among those supplied from the file of Matthew T. Sparks (in chronological order) pertain to the births of his children. On July 30, 1867, Dr. P.M. Johnson, a physician living in Marion County, Iowa, made an affidavit that on August 16, 1858, he had gone to the home of Matthew T. Sparks where Martha Sparks was delivered of a male child, afterwards named John J. Sparks, the legitimate child of the said Matthew T. and Martha Sparks. Dr. J. F. Smith, a physician located at Granville, Mahaska County, Iowa, made a similar affidavit about the birth of Elizabeth J. Sparks, a child of Matthew T. and Martha Sparks, on December 26, 1859. Then on on Nov 2, 1868, Mary Patterson and Margaret Harris, both living at Postville, Iowa, made affidavits that they were present at the residence of Matthew T. Sparks (who was then in the service of the U.S.) when his wife, Martha, gave birth to a son, Matthew W. P. Sparks, on Nov 2, 1861.
Next, in chronological order, is a Letter of Guardianship, issued by the Jasper County Circuit Court on April 9, 1869, appointing Jeremiah S. Sparks the guardian of the minor children of Matthew T. Sparks, deceased. The children named were John J. Sparks, Elizabeth J. Sparks, and Matthew W.P. Sparks.
On Nov 15, 1869, Jeremiah S. Sparks filed a "Guardian's Application for Increase of Pension" in which he stated that he was the guardian of three minor children, named John J. Sparks, Elizabeth J. Sparks, and Matthew W.P. Sparks. He said that the father of the children, Matthew T. Sparks, had served in Co. K, 5th Regt. Iowa Inf. Vol. until his death at the Andersonville Prison on July 9, 1864, of starvation. The mother of the children had remarried, her second husband being Jonathan Bagby on December 8, 1867. The parents of the children were married at Lynn Grove, Iowa, on Oct 6, 1857, by the Rev. Hickman. The maiden name of the children's mother had been Martha Starr. L.B. Westbrook and S.W. Lindley attested to the application.
Apparently Jeremiah S. Sparks was advised to apply for a different kind of pension for his wards, for a few weeks later he filed a regular application for a pension for minor children. In this application, he submitted basically the same information as that of Nov 15, 1869. John W. Murphy and L.B. Westbrook attested to the application and stated that they were personally acquainted with Matthew T. Sparks as the father of the children.
The application for a pension for the minor children of Matthew T. Sparks was approved and Certificate No. 137,983 was issued. There is no record in the file supplied by the National Archives to show the date of issuance or the amount.
(Editor's Note: The court-appointed guardian of the minor children of Matthew T. Sparks was undoubtedly his brother, Jeremiah J. Sparks; however, when the guardianship certificate was prepared, his name was written as Jeremiah _S. Sparks and so the error was repeated through the entire pension file.)
|SAMUEL T. SPARKS,||son of John R. and Elizabeth (Matthews) Sparks, born August 27,1847; died March 18, 1905. He married Sarah C. Butrum in Jasper County, Iowa, on March 19, 1868. He served in Co. B, 48th Regt. Iown Inf. Vol. from May 21, 1864, until Oct 20, 1864. File Designations: Inv. Certif. No. 882,872 and Wid. Certif. No. 624, 971.|
Samuel T. Sparks filed an application for an invalid pension on August 29, 1890, in which he stated that he had been 16 years of age when he enlisted in Co. B, 48th Regt. Iowa Inf. Vol. under the command of Joseph R. Rodgers. He was discharged at Rock Island, Illinois, on Oct 20, 1864. He was 5 ft. 9 in. tall and had a light complexion, brown hair and dark eyes. While on duty at Rock Island in September 1864, he contracted chronic diarrhea which led to other diseases. As a result of this illness, he was unable to perform the manual labor which he was required to do as a farmer. He made no mention of a family in his application. D. Ryan and Ralph Robinson attested to the application.
The War Department confirmed Samuel T. Sparks's military service and apparently he was granted an invalid pension, although there is nothing among the papers supplied from his file by the National Archives to indicate the date of approval of the amount.
The date of the next record (in chronological order) among the papers supplied from the file of Samuel T. Sparks is dated August 12, 1905, when his wife, Sarah C. Sparks, made application for a widow's pension. She stated that Samuel had died on March 17, 1905; that they had been married in Lynnville, Iowa, on March 19, 1868; that neither of them had been married previously; and that he had left no children under the age of sixteen. Robert Willocks and A.W. Forsythe attested to the application, which was apparently acted upon favorably since she was issued Wid. Certif. No. 833,769. There is nothing in the file provided to show the date of issuance or the amount of the pension.
On 16 January 1907, Sarah C. Sparks asked for a reconsideration of her pension by an affidavit in which she stated that she owned a dwelling house and barn worth about $1150 which were taxed in 1905 for $10 and in 1906 for $12. In addition, her husband had left her 12½ acres of land worth about $280 which was taxed in 1906 for $2.63. She also had $1,000 out on a note at 5 percent interest which produced $50 per year, but that this was all the real income she had. Her husband left her no life insurance. She said that she was wholly dependent on her own efforts for her support and the help of others not legally bound to give her support. She had not remarried after the death of her husband.
Sarah C. Sparks filed an amendment to her request on March 6, 1907, in which she admitted that she had made a mistake in the date of the death of her husband, and that he had died on March 18th rather than on March 17th. T.G. Shumway and P.C. Wells, both of Sully, Iowa, witnessed the affidavit. Sarah Sparks also asked the Jasper County clerk to send a transcript of her marriage to Samuel T. Sparks which showed that her maiden name had been Sarah C. Butrum and that she and Samuel were married on March 19, 1868, by J.B. Warrington, a minister.
When Sarah C. Sparks died on May 22, 1928, she was receiving a pension of $30 per month. She was living at Sully, Iowa.
|STEPHEN J. SPARKS,||son of Truelove and Sarah (Guessford) Sparks, born August 28, 1833, died July 29, 1918. He married (1st) Martha Loton in March 1858 in Jasper County, Iowa, and (2nd) Rebecca (Guile) Wolf on December 26, 1863, in Jasper County, Iowa. He served in Co. D, 40th Regt. Iowa Inf. Vol. File Designation: Inv. Certif. No. 465,624 and Wid. Certif. No. 865,326.|
The first document (in chronological order) among the papers furnished by the National Archives from the pension file of Stephen J. Sparks is his appointment by the Jasper County Court as the guardian of Eliza Wolf, heir of George Wolf, deceased. The appointment was made on April 9, 1866, and on that same day, Stephen Sparks made application for a pension for Eliza under the provisions of the Act of Congress of July 14, 1862, which granted pensions to minor children of deceased soldiers. He stated that George Wolf, father of Eliza, had served as a private in Co. D, 40th Regt. Iowa Infantry Volunteers until his death at Paducah, KY., on March 24, 1863, of typhoid fever. He stated further that George Wolf had married on March 17, 1859; that Eliza E. Wolf was born May 72, 1862; and that the widow of George Wolf had remarried (himself) Stephen J. Sparks on December 26, 1863. Attesting witnesses were Samuel M. Shill and O.C. Howe. There is nothing in the file to indicate the action taken upon the application.
Apparently Stephen J. Sparks made an application for his own pension in 1884, but there is no copy in the file of selected documents furnished by the National Archives. There is a supporting copy of his discharge from the army on April 20, 1863, because of disability caused by a severe attack of typhoid fever which left him with a general debility and partial derangement and unfit for further military duty. The discharge certificate also stated that he had been born in Morgan Co., Illinois; that he was 5 feet, 9 inches tall; that he had a dark complexion, black eyes and hair; and that he was a farmer by occupation.
Accompanying the discharge certificate was a letter from the Adjutant General's Office, dated March 12, 1885, stating that Stephen J. Sparks had enlisted in Co. D, 40th Regt. Iowa Inf. Vol. on August 22, 1862, at Newton, Iowa, for a three-year term and that he had been hospitalized at Paducah, Ky., during March and April 1863 until his discharge on April 20, 1863. He was granted a pension under Inv. Certif. No. 465,624, but there is nothing in his file to show the date of issuance or the amount.
On July 4, 1898, Stephen responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions in which he gave the following information: His wife's maiden name was Rebecca Gile and they were married at Rock Creek, Jasper County, Iowa, in 1864 by Father Quillon. A record of the marriage was on file in the Jasper County courthouse. He had been married previously to Martha Ann Lauton who died in Jasper County in 1861. He had six living children: Amanda, William P., Perry, Sarah, Jasper, and Laura whose ages were 30, 26, 24, 25, 22, and 17 years, respectively.
Stephen J. Sparks filed another application for pension benefits on August 28, 1908, under the provisions of the Act of Congress of 6 February 1907, in which he confirmed much of the information he had furnished earlier. He was now 75 years of age. He had enlisted at Camp Pope, Iowa City, Iowa. He had been born near Jacksonville,
Ill., on August 28, 1833. He was receiving a pension under Inv. Certif. No.465,624.
C.H. Potter and J.C. Trease attested to the application. There is nothing in the documents xeroxed by the National Archives from his file to indicate the action taken upon this application.
On March 11, 1915, Stephen J. Sparks again responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. In addition to information already furnished, he stated that his wife's maiden name was Rebecca Guile; that they were married at the home of S.A. Guile on December 26, 1863, by the Rev. Quilliam; that he had been married previously to Martha Lotten in March 1858; that she had died in December 1861; and that the names and dates of birth of all his children, living or dead, were:
Amanda Sparks, born January 24, 1859
Martha A. Sparks, born Oct - -, 1861
Sarah M. Sparks, born December 19, 1864
William P. Sparks, born May 20, 1867
Laura M. Sparks, born May 30, 1870
Perry M. Sparks, born May 11, 1873
Clara B. Sparks, born Nov 15, 1877
Stephen Jasper Sparks, born Oct 4, 1880
At the time of his death on July 29, 1918, Stephen J. Sparks was receiving a pension of $22.50 per month. Apparently Rebecca (Guile) Sparks made an application for a widow's pension shortly after the death of her husband for in the file of papers supplied by the National Archives is a transcript prepared on August 17, 1918, by the Jasper County clerk of her marriage to Stephen J. Sparks on December 26, 1863. The marriage was performed by James Quillan, minister.
On Nov 6, 1926, Rebecca Sparks made an application for a remarried widow's pension under the provisions of the Act of Congress of September 8, 1916. She stated that she was 84 years of age; that she had been born in Boone County, Ind., on August 14, 1842; that she had married George D. Wolf on March 17, 1858, under the name of Rebecca Gile with Elder Quillan performing the wedding ceremonty; that, after the death of George D. Wolf in March 1863 while he was in the military service, she had remarried Stephen J. Sparks on December 26, 1863, in Jasper County; and that he had died on July 29, 1918, at Grinnell, Iowa. Attesting witnesses to her application were W.P. Sparks and Mrs. A.N. Hockett, both living at Grinnell, Iowa. Rebecca signed the application by making her mark.
When Rebecca (Guile) Sparks died on August 26, 1927, she was receiving a pension of $50 per month.
|WILLIAM H. SPARKS,||son of John R. and Elizabeth (Matthews) Sparks, born Oct 10, 1840, and apparently died in 1864. Served in Co. B, 5th Regt. Iowa Infantry Volunteers.|
There is no pension file for William H. Sparks. His military file shows that he enlisted on July 15, 1861, at Burlington, Iowa, as a private in Co. B, 5th Regt. Iowa Infantry Volunteers for a term of three years. He was 21 years of age. All indications are that he died sometime shortly after the latter part of March, 1864.
The service records of William H. Sparks are fairly complete and show that he was present for duty during his term of service with the following exceptions: He was left in the hospital at Boonville, Missouri, on Oct 14, 1861, probably when his detachment moved from that area. He rejoined his company immediately and was present for duty until September 19, 1862, when he was hospitalized for a head wound acquired in the Battle of Iuka, Mississippi. Again he rejoined his unit immediately and was present for duty until April 28, 1863, when he was placed on detached service at Millikens Bend, Louisiana. He rejoined his company and was present for duty until Nov 25, 1863, when he was taken prisoner in the Battle of Missionary Ridge, Tennessee. He was carried on the company roll as "Absent, captured by the enemy at Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov 25, 1863" until August 1864 when he was "Dropped from return per Par. 4, S.0.4."
A military form, Memorandum from Prisoner of War Records, in the file of William H. Sparks is quite interesting, but it also fails to provide conclusive evidence as to his ultimate fate. It reads as follows:
"Sparks, W.H., Pvt. 5th Regt. Iowa Inf., Co. B. Captured at Missionary Ridge, Tenn., Nov 25, 1863. Confined at Richmond, Va., December 3, 1863. Sent to Andersonville, Ga., Ar. Americus Feby 15/64. Confined at Andersonville, Ga. No date given. Admitted to Hospital at Andersonville, Ga., March 27/64.
where he died 186-[sic] of February Int." The form was copied by D.C.J. from information obtained from Records of MIS. Vol. 40, page 283½ and from M.R. Vol. 6, page 36.
We have included the military records of William H. Sparks as a part of the Civil War pension data presentation, primarily because his service fits in with the pension records of his brothers, Matthew T. Sparks and Samuel T. Sparks, which are also published in this issue of the Quarterly. William H. Sparks and Matthew T. Sparks served in the same Company of the 5th Regt. and both were taken prisoners on the same day.
We have been unable to confirm the date of death of William H. Sparks. According to the Portrait & Biographical Records of Jasper, Marshall, and Grundy Counties, Iowa, published in 1894, he died in 1864, but the month was not known. The Roster & Records of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, published 1908 -11, states that he was mustered out of service in August 1864., but this same source also committed an error by stating that he was returned from capture on December 25, 1863.
If any of our readers can shed additional light on this genealogical problem, we would greatly appreciate receiving the information.
|WILLIAM W. SPARKS,||son of William and Elizabeth (Crawhorn) Sparks, was born ca. 1844 in Adair County, Ky., and he died after 1893. He served in Co. B, 16th Regt. Indiana Infantry.|
William W. Sparks was enrolled as a private in Capt. Redfield's Company B, 16th Regiment Indiana Infantry at Salem, Indiana, on July 24, 1862. He was 18 years of age, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, and he had a light complexion, light hair and blue eyes. He was born in Adair County, Ky., and was a farmer. He was enrolled for a period of three years.
On August 30, 1862, he was taken a prisoner at Richmond, Kentucky, but he rejoined his unit as a paroled prisoner and was present for duty until Oct 31, 1862. He was carried as "absent without leave" on the company roster during Nov and December 1862 and during January and February 1863, when his designation was changed to "deserted at Cairo, Illinois , on Nov 26, 1862."
When the 1890 census was taken, provision was made for a special schedule of all Civil War veterans. When the census was taken of Adair County, Kentucky, William W. Sparks was living at Sparksville. He had no discharge certificate, but stated that he had served in Co. B, 16th Indiana Infantry and suffered from heart disease caused by the measles. In 1893, he apparently made application for the removal of the charge of desertion, but the War Department denied his request. We have no further information about him.