Whole Number 110
(Editors Note: From time to time we have been publishing abstracts of the pension files of Union soldiers who served in the Civil War. Readers are referred to page 2110 of the June 1979 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 106, for an explanation of these abstracts.)
JOSEPH P. SPARKS, son of Josiah and Anna (Gilkey) Sparks, was born March 20, 1840, in Adair County, Kentucky. He married Candace E. Gatton on April 3, 1869, in Orange County, Missouri. He served in Company C, 15th Regiment Missouri Cavalry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 1,059,799; Wid. Cert. No. 633,8l5.
On December 13, 1892, Joseph P. Sparks, aged 62, a resident of Olympia, Washington, applied for an invalid pension under the 1890 Act of Congress. He said he had made a previous application, but was not a pensioner. He stated that he had served in Company C, 15th Regiment Missouri Cavalry from November 1, 1863, to June 30, 1865. He "was now almost totally disabled because of an injury to his left side, varicose veins in both legs, a catarrh of the head, and a kidney disease. Phil Skillman and Lillian Matson "witnessed his signature.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service and he was placed upon the pension roll under Invalid Certificate No. 1,059,799.
In January 1903, Sparks, still a resident of Olympia, responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He said he was born in Adair County, Kentucky, on March 20, 1840. He enlisted at Bowers Mill in Lawrence County, Missouri, on November 1, 1863, and was mustered out with the rank of Sergeant with his company at Springfield, Missouri, on June 30, 1865. He was 6 feet tall and weighed 217 pounds; he had a dark complexion, dark hair and blue eyes; he was a farmer. After leaving the service he had lived in Lawrence County, Missouri, for 21 years; in McDonald County, Missouri, for one year; in Benton County, Arkansas, for six years; in the Indian Territory for six years; and in the state of Washington for six years.
Sparks went on to say that he had been married to Candace E. Gatton on April 3, 1869, by William B. Landrum at Mt.Vernon, Missouri. It was the first marriage for both. They had five living children: Albina F. Sparks, born March 20, 1870; John B. Sparks, born September 6, 1871; Anna A. Sparks, born May 14, 1873; Gertrude C. Sparks, born February 20, 1875; and Albert J. Sparks, born April 8, 1878.
Joseph P. Sparks died on March 31, 1907 and on May 24th his widow, Candace E. Sparks, applied for a widow's pension. She was 64 years of age and a resident of Kettle Falls, Washington. She said she was without sufficient means of support other than her daily labor and that her net income did not exceed $250 per year. Isaac Wagner and Mrs. W. J. Stambaugh witnessed her signature.
On August 7, 1907, John M. Scruggs, aged 43, and A. T. Scruggs, aged 37, testified that they had known Mrs. Sparks for twenty years. She had no real estate, mortgages nor bonds, and no one was bound for her support.
Three weeks later, Mrs. Sparks also made an affidavit in which she said that her personal property consisted of one horse, $20; one cow, $20; one wagon, $25; an organ, $15; a sewing machine, $5; household goods, $15; harness, $10; and poultry, $20, Her husband had left no life insurance, nor did he leave a will.
The Bureau of Pensions issued Widow Certificate No. 633,8l5 to Candace E. Sparks and she was placed upon the pension roll. On October 31, 1916, she applied for and increase in her pension. She now lived in Colville, Washington. She said that she had been born November 27, 1843, in Wilson County, Tennessee, thus she was 73 years of age. When Candace E. Sparks died on February 4, 1917, she was receiving a pension of $20 per month.
JAMES H. SPARKS, probably a son of Elihu and Rosa (Bailey) Sparks, was born ca. 1819 in Kentucky. He died on February 4, 1872, in Pike County, Illinois. He married Deborah Hankins on June 12, 1840, in Scott County, Illinois. He served in Company D, 28th Regiment Illinois Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 78,360; Wid. Appl. No. 207,328.
On May 8, 1866, James H. Sparks, aged 46, a resident of Barry, Illinois, applied for an invalid pension. He stated that he had enlisted at St. Louis, Missouri, on March 11, 1863, in Company H, Capt. Ezra S. Mearns (?) Company, in the Marine Regiment commanded by Col. Corry, and had served until he was discharged at Vicksburg, Mississippi, on January 22, 1865. While stationed at Davis Bridge on the Hatchie River in Tennessee, on November 5, 1862, he was wounded in the left hand and left side in the Battle of Metamore. Two fingers -were crippled and his bowels came out of the wound in his side. He had never fully recovered and was now entirely disabled. Since leaving the service, he had lived at Barry, Illinois. He appointed T. J. Mitchel, Quincy, Illinois, as his attorney. Henry Hender and Asbury Emerson witnessed him make his mark and the claim was sworn to before Charles H. Morton, Clerk of Adams County, Illinois.
On the margin of the application form submitted by James H Sparks was written: "Original enlistment in Co. D, 28th 111. Vols. on the 14th February 1862. Was a recruit under Lt. F. P. Lipes C?] . Volunteered at Barry, Pike Co., 111. First discharge lost on the body of Lt. McGuire who was drowned between Memphis and Cairo."
Three months later, on August 13, 1866, G. L. Farwell, late Captain of Company D, 28th Illinois Volunteers, swore to an "Officer's Certificate to Disability of Soldier." He stated that James H. Sparks had served as a private in Company D, 28th Regiment Illinois Infantry under his command. On October 5, 1862, in the Battle of Hatchie River, Sparks was hit by a musket ball fired by the enemy which struck him in the left hand inflicting a severe wound. Subsequently, Sparks was transferred to the Marine Brigade according to a report received by Capt. Farwell. The certificate was sworn to before William Ervin, Clerk of McDonough County (ill.) Court.
On February 14, 1867, the War Department confirmed the military service of James H. Sparks. He was mustered into Company D, 28th Regiment Illinois Infantry on April 18, 1862, for three years at Springfield, Illinois. He was wounded at the Battle of Hatchie River and was hospitalized. On March 11, 1863, he was mustered out to enlist in the Mississippi Marine Brigade, where he served in Company G until June 30, 1864, when he was transferred to Company H. He was mustered out on January 23, 1865, at Vicksburg, Mississippi, by General Order No. 431.
Invalid Certificate No. 78,360 was issued to James H. Sparks and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $6.00 per month, commencing on May 23, 1866.
On March 28, 1867, and again on January 19, 1869, Sparks applied for arrears in his pension under a Supplementary Pension Act, claiming that he was due a pension from July 4, 1864, to May 23, 1866. These claims were witnessed by B. U, Burkhead, J. A. Rockwood, William Travis, and B. D. Brown.
James H. Sparks died on February 4, 1872, and on July 24, 1872, Deborah Sparks, his widow, applied for a pension. She was 56 years of age and a resident of Barry, Illinois. She stated that she and James H. Sparks had been married on June 12, 1840, at Winchester, Illinois, by the Rev. W. Royal Doyle. Her maiden name had been Deborah Hankins. She and her husband had no children under the age of sixteen years in 1872. She appointed Richard M. Atkinson as her attorney. Samuel W. Craig and J. M. Topliff witnessed her make her mark.
On September 25, 1877, Deborah Sparks, now aged 60 and a resident of Baylis, Illnois, made an affidavit to support her application. She said her husband, James H. Sparks, had died of service-connected disabilities, namely chronic diarrhea and. consumption. Their marriage had been the first for both of them . She appointed C. M. Cadwallader, Macomb, Illinois, as her attorney. Samuel W. Craig and Phoebe Craig attested the affidavit and V. A. Grimes and J. A. Rider witnessed her make her mark. The affidavit was sworn to before J. L. Frye, Clerk of Pike County (ill.) Court.
Nothing was supplied by the rational Archives from the pension file of James H. Sparks to indicate the action taken on the application of Deborah Sparks for a widow's pension; however, no Widow's Certificate was issued to her, so in all probability, she died before final action was taken on her request since her name did not appear on the 1880 census of Pike County.
(Editor's Note: Mrs. Bernard Sullivan, Clayton, Illinois (62324), is seeking information about the parents of James H. Sparks and would welcome correspondence with anyone who can give her some help. Her husband's grandmother was Lucy Sparks, daughter of James H. and Deborah (Hankins) Sparks. According to data given on page 1873 of "the December 1976 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 96, there is good reason to believe that the parents of James H. Sparks were Elihu and Rosa (Bailey) Sparks of Adair County, Kentucky.
There were only two men named SPARKS who headed families in Scott County, Illinois, when the 1840 census was taken. One was Elihu Sparks, born 1780-1790; the other was James Sparks, born 18l0-1820. Elihu Sparks apparently died prior to 1850, for when the census was taken that year, Rosanna Sparks, aged 56, was living in the household of Henry and Clarinda Hall which the census-taker designated as Family No. 153. Perhaps Clarinda Hall was a daughter of Rosanna Sparks. Living nearby, as Family 183, was the family of James and Deborah (Hankins) Sparks, aged 32 and 33 years, respectively. There were no other families named SPARKS in Scott County.
Sometime between 1850 and i860, James and Deborah Sparks moved to adjacent Pike County, Illinois, where they were listed on the 1860 and 1870 censuses. It was in Pike County that James H. Sparks died on February 4, 1872, and he was buried in the Barry Township Cemetery as a Civil War veteran. According to census records, he and Deborah had four children, all born in Illinois:
1. John Sparks was born ca. 1842.
2. James R. Sparks was born ca. 1845.
3. George W. Sparks was born in June 1850.
4. Lucy Sparks was born November 25, 1852. She married David P. Mason on September 13, 1871, in Adams County, Illinois. She died on February 22, 1901, at Literberry, Illinois.
SHADRACH SPARKS was born January 6, 1840, at Pedricktown, New Jersey. There he married Hope A. Titus on February 22, 1860. He also married (second) Margaret Church on December 17, 1911. He served in Company K, 24th Regiment, New Jersey Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 847,032; Wid. Appl. No. 1,101,835.
Shadrach Sparks applied for an invalid pension on August 2, 1890, but no copy of his application was sent by the National Archives in the packet from his pension file. He had served from August 30, 1862, until June 29, 1863, in Company K, 24th Regiment New Jersey Infantry. At the time of his enlistment, he was 22 years of ago; he was 5 feet, 5 inches tall; he had a light complexion, grey eyes and light hair; and he was a farmer. He was issued Invalid Certificate No. 847,032 and was placed upon the pension roll.
On October 14, 1912, Sparks requested an increase in his pension. He was now 72 years of age and a resident of Emma, New Jersey. He said he had enlisted in the 24th New Jersey Regiment at Beverly, New Jersey, and was discharged there. He was born January 6, 1840, at Pedricktown, New Jersey. After leaving the service, he had lived at Camden, New Jersey, and at Emma, New Jersey. Emma Jane Browning and Thomas A. Lyle witnessed his signature and the request was sworn to before Furman Barnett, a justice of the peace.
Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions on April 5, 1915. He said his first wife was Hope A. Tutus to whom he was married on February 22, 1860, at Pedricktown, New Jersey., by John P. Laonderback. She had died on September 18., 1909. His second marriage was to Margaret Church on December 17, 1911, at Emma, New Jersey. She was the widow of Alvin P. Church who had died on February 7, 1901. Sparks said he had four children:
1. Abraham Lincoln Sparks, born November 17, 1860.
2. Isabella Sparks, born January 31, 1862, died August 14, 1883.
3. Amelia F. Sparks, born November 8, 1864.
4. Clara Sparks, born October 1, 1866.
Shadrach Sparks died on April 16, 1917, and on May 28th his widow, Margaret Sparks, applied for a widow's pension. She said she was born August 26, 1843, at Goshen, New Jersey, and had married Shadrach Sparks on December 17, 1911. Mary E. Ludwig and James Long, both of Emma, New Jersey, witnessed her sign the Application No. 1,101,835. No pension certificate was issued to Margaret Sparks.
JESSE D. SPARKS was born ca. 1839, a son of Samuel and Mary (Heard or Hurd) Sparks of Logan County, Illinois. He served in Company G, 106th Regiment Illinois Infantry. File Designation: Inv. Appl. No. 983,66.
On 2 Jan1891, Jesse D. Sparks, aged 52, a resident of Mackinaw, Illinois, applied for an invalid pension. He said he had been enrolled on August 2, 1862, in Company G, 106th Regiment Illinois Infantry and had served until he was discharged at Springfield, Illinois, on July 12, 1865. During his service, he had strained his back and had injured his left lower leg and was now unable to earn his support. He appointed J. B. Cralle & Co., Washington, D.C., as his attorneys. William Hasty, Jr. and Abe Lance witnessed the declaration.
On January 14, 1891, Charles Martin, aged 52, a resident of Deer Creek, Illinois, and Richard T. Parker, aged 30, a resident of Mackinaw, Illinois, made a joint affidavit to support the claim of Sparks. Both testified that they were well acquainted with Sparks since they were close neighbors and had worked for Sparks on his farm. On some days Sparks was not able to be out of his house because of his lame back and crippled left foot.
On the same day, W. H. Cambear, aged 47, a resident of Morton, Illinois, testified that he had examined Sparks and found him to be suffering from large varicose veins on his left leg and from an old injury to his big left toe. He considered Sparks entirely incapable of performing manual labor.
Sparks made an affidavit on January 15, 1891, that he had received his disability at Camp Latham in Logan County, Illinois, by being thrown from a wagon load with provisions for the regiment. The Affidavit was sworn to before George W. Smith, a notary public. A month later, on February 14, 1891, Sparks completed a second application for an invalid pension. He said he had injured his left leg at Camp Latham, Illinois, on or about October 27, 1862. After the injury, he stated that "At first I was sent to my father's house and there treated by Dr. Leeds and afterwards at the hospital at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri." He again appointed J. B. Cralle & Co. as his attorneys. Austin Richmond and Mark Short witnessed his signature.
On August 15., 1891, the Bureau of Pensions asked, the War Department to furnish the military records of Jesse D. Sparks. They also asked Sparks to appear before a Board of Examiners at Bloomington, Illinois, and to have a physical examination. The Board of Examiners, composed of Drs. A. T. Brown, C. T. Owen, and C. E Spears, made the following report: "Sparks was 5 feet, 10 1/2 inches tall and weighed 149 pounds. He had a greatly enlarged left toe. He also had enlarged varicose veins in this left leg; however, they had not ulcerated nor ruptured. He was entitled to a four-eighteenth rating for disability."
On January 18, 1892, J. B. Cralle & Co., Washington, B.C., received a statement from the Bureau of Pensions that the War Department could find no military records of Jesse D. Sparks. They suggested that the firm get Sparks's discharge certificate, if available. If that document could not be found, perhaps the names of his commanding officers or the nature of his duties could be furnished.
Apparently during the next two years, nothing was furnished as further evidence of Sparks's military service or of his disabilities. Finally, on January 23, 1894, the law firm of J. B. Cralle & Co. asked the Commissioner of Pensions to furnish the status of Sparks's pension application No. 983,166.
On September 24, 1894, the Bureau of Pensions informed J. B. Cralle & Co. that the claim of Jesse D. Sparks had been rejected on the grounds that "The records of the War Department show that the claimant deserted on August 20, 1863, and that he has never been discharged from the U.S. Military Service." The case was marked "Abandoned."
(Editor's Note: Jesse D. Sparks was a son of Samuel and Mary (Heard or Hurd) Sparks of Logan County, Illinois. See the queries on page 147 of the June 1956 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 14, and on page 1219 of the March 1969 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 65. Samuel Sparks, father of Jesse D., was born somewhere in New Jersey on April 15, 1800, and died in Logan County, Illinois, on September 23, 1865. He was married in Clark County, Ohio, to Mary Hurd (or Heard) on May 26, 1825. We have not succeeded in identifying the parentage of Samuel Sparks. His children, in addition of Jesse D. Sparks, were named James, Elizabeth, Phoebe Jane, Susan, Eveline, Mary, Samuel Jr., Sarah, and John.)
ELIJAH SPARKS was born November 18, 1842, in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He died on January 30, 1930, at Roaring River, North Carolina. He married Millie Louisa Combs in February 1867. He served in Company D, 13th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 914,750.
Elijah Sparks made application for an invalid pension on January 20, 1891, claiming that he was partially disabled by reason of chronic rheumatism and diarrhea that had been caused by his military service. He stated that he had enlisted as a private in Company E, 13tb Regiment Tennessee Cavalry in February 1863, and had been discharged at Gallatin, Tennessee, in July 1863. He stated that he was now (1891) 52 years of age and a resident of Roaring River, North Carolina. He appointed J. B. Cralle & Co. of Washington, D.C., to be his attorneys. W. M. Sparks and James F. byrd witnessed him make his mark.
On March 21, 1891. Sparks made an affidavit to support his claim. He said his disability was caused by drinking bad water and from exposure while in the service. J. M. Childers and C. E. Durham witnessed his mark.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on August 9, 1893. He had enlisted in Company D, 13th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry on February 28, 1864, and had been discharged on July 21, 1864, by reason of disability.
Andrew J. Blackburn, age 58, a resident of Roaring River, North Carolina, made an affidavit on August 6, 1893, to support Sparks's claim. He said he had lived as a close neighbor to Sparks for 35 years and knew that he was suffering from rheumatism and chronic diarrhea which, on occasions, confined him to his bed. A similar affidavit was made by W. F. Alexander, Jr., age 40, of Roaring River, on May 16, 1896. He said that Sparks, who was a miller, lived within one-half mile from him, and he saw him at least once each week. Sparks's rheumatism afflicted him in the legs and knees and they were badly swollen. He also suffered from chronic diarrhea which kept him very feeble. He said these diseases were not due to a vicious habits, for Sparks was a man of good moral character.
Sparks was issued Invalid Certificate No. 914,750, probably sometime in 1896, for on March 25, 1897, he applied for increased pension benefits. Bud Alexander and R. W. Alexander witnessed him make his mark and the application was sworn to before W. S. Elworth, a justice of the peace of Wilkes County. We received no document in the packet of materials furnished by the National Archives from his pension file to reveal what action was taken on this application.
Elijah Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions on August 4, 1898. He stated that he had been married to Millie Louisa Combs in February 1867 at Roaring River by Leroy D. Burcham, a justice of the peace. It was the first marriage for both. They had had four children:
1. Henry Sherman Sparks, born February 11, 1868 (died before 1898).
2. Wiley Marshall Sparks, born October 15, 1870.
3. William Rufus Sparks, born August 7, 1872 (died before 1898).
4. Aaron Elijah Sparks, born July 27, 1874.
On March 7, 1907, Sparks again applied for increased pension benefits under the 1907 Act of Congress. He said he was born November 18, 1842, in Wilkes County, North Carolina. At the time of his enlistment at Nashville, Tennessee, he was 6 feet tall; he had a light complexion, blue eyes and light hair; and he was a farmer and miller by occupation. J. A. Childers and J. E. Johnson witnessed his mark and the application was sworn to before W. T. Eller, a notary public.
On November 15, 1928, Elijah Sparks, now 86 years of age, made application for pension benefits under the 1920 Act of Congress. A. S. Sparks and C. H. Butner witnessed his mark. "When Sparks died on January 30? 1930, he was receiving a pension of $90.00 per month.
(Editor's Note: Apparently there were "two persons named Elijah Sparks who were born ca. 1842 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. One, Elijah Sparks, age 17, was living in the family of William Russell and Permela (Gentry) Sparks when the i860 census of Wilkes County was taken. This Elijah Sparks had not been living in the family of William Russell Sparks, however, when the 1850 census was taken and we doubt very much that he was the same individual as Elijah Sparks, the pensioner. (See page 1089 of the September 1967 issue of the Quarterly for information regarding William Russell Sparks.) Also listed on the 1860 census of Wilkes County, North Carolina, was an Elijah Sparks, age 17, living in the household of Solomon and Mary (Day) Sparks, and it is this Elijah Sparks whom we believe was the subject of the above pension file. This Solomon Sparks, born ca. 18l5, was a son of Samuel and Mary (Alvey) Sparks (see the Quarterly of June 1959, Whole No. 26, page 386.) The Wilkes County marriage bond of Solomon Sparks and Mary Day was dated January 30, 1838.
When the 1860 census was taken in Wilkes County, the family of Solomon and Mary (Day) Sparks was listed as comprising the following:
(1) Daniel Sparks, 18;
(2) Elijah Sparks, 17;
(3) Sarah Q.(?) Sparks, 15;
(4) W Jacob Sparks, 13;
(5) Martha J. Sparks, 11;
(6) Amanda Sparks, 6.
Solomon Sparks, the father, apparently died between 1860 and 1870 for Mary Sparks was listed as head of the family on the 1870 census, with daughters Sarah, Martha, and Amanda still at home. No Elijah Sparks has been found on the 1870 census of Wilkes County, but on the 1880 census he appeared in Edwards Township, a farmer 40 years of age, with wife L. C. Sparks (age 37) and sons F. S. Sparks, 12; W. M. Sparks, 9; Willie Sparks, 6; and E. A. Sparks, 5. Living in the same township in 1880 was Jacob Sparks, age 34, miller. We believe that this was Elijah's younger brother. Jacob's wife's name was given as Milly on the 1880 census and their children were:
(1) Solomon Sparks, 11
(2) Mary Sparks, 9;
(3) Thomas Sparks, 7;
(4) Robert Sparks, 6;
(5) William Sparks, 4;
(6) Jacob F. Sparks, 1.
JOHN H. SPARKS was born ca. 1835. He served in Company A, 55th Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia. File Designation: Inv. Appl. No. 1,090,748.
On January 25, 1892, John H. Sparks, aged 57, a resident of Doe Run, Missouri, applied for an invalid pension. He said he had enrolled on March 15, 1863. in Company A, 55th Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia and had served until he was discharged on June 30, 1863, at St. Clair, Missouri. He was now suffering from phthisic which he had contracted in the service. He appointed Geo. M. Irvin, St. Joseph, Missouri, as his attorney. Thomas Masterson and Melvin R. Matthews witnessed him make his mark.
The War Department failed to find a military organization known as the 55th Regiment Missouri Militia, and on May 24, 1892, Sparks's attorney received a rejection to the claim with the following notation, "Rejection - no title under the Act. The Co. and Regt. to which claimant belonged - A, 55 E. Missouri. Mil. was a state organization - not in the service of the U.S."
John H. Sparks reopened his case on April 18, 1905, by appointing N. W. Wills & Co., of Washington, D.C., as his attorney. Sparks gave his post office as Elvins, Missouri. J. C. Weston and T. B. Smith witnessed him make his mark.
On April 24, 1905, N W. Wills & Co. reported the case as "abandoned."