Whole Number 113
(Editor's 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. It should be noted that they are not based on the entire file of papers in the National Archives, but are based on only those documents considered by a searcher at the Archives to have genealogical significance.)
18.104.22.168 PETER SPARKS son of 44.4.10 Daniel and Mildred (Anders) Sparks, was born May 10, 1839, in Putnam County, Missouri. He married (first) Elizabeth E. Corneilson on September 15, 1859, and married (second) Sarah F. Vestal on November 16,1865. He served in Company B, 11th Regiment Missouri State Militia Cavalry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 540,121; Wid. Sort. No. 722,050.
On June 17, 1889, Peter Sparks, aged 50, a resident of Graysville, Missouri,made application for an invalid pension. He said he was enrolled on 1 Apr1862, in Company B, 11th Regiment Missouri State Militia Cavalry and had served until he was discharged in April 1865 at St. Louis, Missouri. In February 1865, while driving a wagon drawl by mules near Bloomfield, Missouri., he had been swamped down in icy water from which he had to wade. The exposure to the icy water led to partial deafness and rheumatism from which he had never fully recovered and which now rendered him incapable of earning his full support as a farmer. He appointed Lee T. Robison, of Unionville, Missouri., as his attorney. P. T. Dickerson and T. E. Sparks witnessed his signature. Sparks's application was accompanied by an affidavit from two former comrades, Francis H. West, Mendota, Missouri, and James H. Richmond, Graysville, Missouri, who testified that they, too, had been members of Sparks's military company and that in February 1865 he had been attacked by a disease that caused severe pains in the arms and shoulders and which caused a partial deafness from which he had never fully recovered.
On March 4, 1891, the Bureau of Pensions issued Invalid Certificate No. 540,121 to Peter Sparks and he was placed upon the pension rolls at the rate of $12.00 per month.
Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions on May 3, 1898. He married Elizabeth F. Corneilson on September 15, 1859. She died on August 24, 1864. Children:
22.214.171.124.1 John Sparks born On July 30, 1860
126.96.36.199.2 Mahala Sparks born on August 20, 1862
He stated that he had been married to Sarah Frances Vestal on October 15, 1865, in Putnam County, Missouri, by John Collins.
188.8.131.52.3 Lucinda Sparks born on November 9, 1866
184.108.40.206.4 Millie G. Sparks born October 17, 1867
220.127.116.11.5 William H. Sparks born on October 17, 1869
18.104.22.168.6 James D. Sparks born July 17, 1872
22.214.171.124.7 Rebecca Sparks, born on December 11, 1873
126.96.36.199.8 Charlotte Sparks born on February 20, 1875
188.8.131.52.9 Daniel Sparks born December 20, 1877
184.108.40.206.10 Aaron Sparks born January 21, 1882
220.127.116.11.11 Fina Edith Sparks born on November 30,1885
18.104.22.168.12 Frederick Sparks born on August 16, 1889
22.214.171.124.13 Minnie Sparks born on August 20, 1891
On July 15, 1901, the Bureau of Pensions requested the War Department to furnish a full military record of Peter Sparks, including his age at the time of his enlistment. The War Department responded that Peter Sparks, aged 22 years, had enlisted as a mounted rifleman in Company B, Missouri State Militia which became Company B, 11th Regt. and Companies A & M, 2nd Regt. Missouri State Militia. Sparks was present for duty except on two occasions: on April 10, 1863, he was on special muster on mail service, and on October 31, 1863, he was on scout duty.
On February 13, 1903, Talton E. Sparks and Jesse Richmond, both residents of Graysville, Missouri, made a joint affidavit to support the request for an increase in the amount of Peter Sparks's pension. They said they were neighbors of Sparks and that he continually complained about his deafness and rheumatism.
On February 27, 1907, Peter Sparks, now a resident of Mapleton, Missouri, applied for increased pension benefits under the 1907 Act of Congress. He said that he had enlisted on 1 April 1862, in Company A, 2nd Regt. Missouri State Militia and had served until he was discharged on April 4, 1865, at St. Louis. At the time of his enlistment, he was 5 feet, 10 inches tall; he had a light complexion, blue eyes and light hair; and he was a farmer. He stated that he had been born in Putnam County, Missouri, on May 10, 1839. T. W. Dwyer and W. C. Francis, both residents of Graysville, Missouri, witnessed the application which was sworn to before J. L. Casady, a notary public.
When Peter Sparks died on February 28, 1911, he was receiving a pension of $15 per month. On March 22, 1911, his widow, Sarah F. Sparks, aged 62 years and a resident of Worthington, Missouri, made application for a widow's pension. She said she married Peter Sparks on October 15, 1865, by John Collins in Putnam County, Missouri. It was her first marriage, but her husband had been married previously to Elizabeth Ellen Corneilson, who had died on August 24,1864. C. E. Husted and Dock Mulanix, both residents of Worthington, witnessed her make her mark, and the application was sworn to before Frank J. Bragg, a notary public.
When Sarah F. Sparks died at Kirksville, Missouri, on September 8, 1927, she was receiving a pension of $30.00 per month. She was buried in the Rose Cemetery near Worthington. On November 26, 1927, her daughter, Fina Edith (Sparks) Monroe, asked for reimbursement for expenses incurred in the last illness of her mother. She said Davis & Wilson, undertakers, were still owed $120.00; Dr. F. B. Farrington was due $57.00, and she (Fina Monroe) was due $64.00 for nursing care. Nothing was provided from the pension file to indicate what action was taken upon this request.
126.96.36.199 JOHN SPARKS, son of Daniel and Mildred (Anders) Sparks, was born ca. 1832 in Indiana. He died on December 26, 1891, at Tahlequah, Indian Territory. He married Mary Jane West on September 2, 1855, in Putnam County,Missouri. He served in Company A, 1st Regiment Arkansas Cavalry. File Designations: Inv. Appl. No. 400,232; Wid. Cert. No. 364,065.
John Sparks applied for an invalid pension on June 22, 1880. He was 49 years of age and a resident of McDowell, Barry County, Missouri. He claimed that he entered the service in Company A, 1st Regiment Arkansas Cavalry, commanded by Capt. Joshua Dudley, On June 22, 1862, and served until he was mustered out on August 22, 1865, at Fayetteville, Arkansas. He said he was then 5 feet, 10 inches tall; with a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark hair; and he was a farmer. On or about December 15, 1862, while stationed near Fort Smith, Arkansas, he was captured by the enemy. He then contracted a disease of the blood brought on by eating rations furnished by his captors. He also had suffered a back and hip injury while taking part in a battle charge in 1864. He appointed George E. Lemon, Washington, D.C., as his attorney. George W. Kirk and William L. Hutchens witnessed his signature.
Apparently the Bureau of Pensions asked for further details about Sparks's disabilities, for ca. 1882 he filed a supplemental report. He said that after his capture on or about December 18, 1862, in Crawford County, Arkansas, he and his comrades were taken to Cane Hill, Arkansas, and on the way, they were given rations in the form of crackers. After eating, he became unconscious and small sores began to appear on his body. These sores formed hard scabs which, when removed, left a hard sub- stance. The effect was to produce tremors and great exhaustion and failure of strength. He was treated by the Regimental Surgeon, Dr. H. J. Maynard, from December 20, 1862, to April 18, 1863.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's service on February 27, 1883. He was en- rolled on June 22, 1862, in Crawford County, Arkansas, for a period of three years. On December 12, 1862, he was taken a prisoner near Prairie Grove, Ark., but he was paroled and he returned to duty. He was present for duty until August 23, 1865, when he was mustered out with his company at Fayetteville, Ark. His name did not appear on Prisoner-of-War records, nor were they any records of disabilities; however, the regimental hospital records were not on file.
John Sparks's first application was not approved, and on July 29, 1890, he again made a request for a disability pension. He was now age 57 and a resident of Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). He said he was still suffering from the injuries caused by a horse falling on him about November 20, 1864, near Buffalo Creek, Searcy County, Arkansas. Eli V. Wells and James Leap witnessed his signature. This application was not approved.
John Sparks died on December 26, 1891, in Tahlequah and his widow, Mary J. Sparks, age 54, made application for a widow's pension under the 1890 Act of Congress. She said she and John Sparks had been married in Putnam County, Missouri, on September 2, 1855, by Clay Collins. It was the first marriage for both and she was married under her maiden name of Mary Jane West. There was only one child born to the marriage who was under sixteen years of age, named, Grant Sparks, born September 20, 1879, a confirmed invalid. She appointed John L. Springston, Tahlequah, as her attorney. Joseph Heinricks and Edward Conley witnessed her make her mark.
On April 26, 1892, James Leap, age 42, and Joe Heinricks, age 42, both residents of Tahlequah, testified that Mary J. Sparks owned no property and had no income except that which came to her from her daily labor. A few days later, Margaret Rowen, age 55, and Martha A. Truhitte, age 65, both residents of Butterfield, Barry County, Missouri, stated that they had known John and Mary J. Sparks for forty years and that they were present when the two had been married, and knew it to be the first marriage for both. A. Rowan and S. E. Depew witnessed the two women make their marks.
On June 28, 1892, Mary J. Sparks amended her original application by changing the date of birth of her son, Grant Sparks, to September 21, 1874. C. J. Harris and Robert Wofford witnessed her make her mark.
Mary J. Sparks was issued a pension under Widow's Certificate No. 364,065. On February 28, 1902, the pension agent at Topeka, Kansas, advised the Bureau of Pensions that she had been dropped from the pension rolls because of "failure to claim pension for three years."
188.8.131.52 JOHN C. SPARKS, son of 44.4.9 James I. and Elizabeth (Ferguson) Sparks, was born ca. 1843 in Indiana. He died on February 17, 1883, in Shawnee County, Kansas. On April 20, 1865, he married Susan Jane Dilks in Putnam County, Missouri. He served in Company C, 2nd Regiment Missouri S. H. Cavalry. File designation: Wid. Cert. No. 496,434.
On August 11, 1890, Susan J. Sparks, aged 44, a resident of Bradleyville, Missouri, applied for a widow's pension under the 1890 Act of Congress. She said she had previously applied for a pension under Application No. 392,531. She stated that she was the widow of John C. Sparks who had enlisted on March 10,1862, in Company C, 2nd Regiment Missouri State Militia. She married John C. Sparks on April 20, 1865, under her maiden name of Susan J. Dilks. Her husband had died on February 17, 1883, leaving her with no other means than her daily labor. He also left her with three children under 16 years of age, namely: Sarah J. Sparks, born June 30, 1876; Everett J. C. Sparks, born July 7,1879; and Myrtle Sparks, born on August 22, 1881. Susan Sparks appointed J. C. Johnson of Bradleyville, Missouri, as her attorney. S. P. Paul and J. M. Adams witnessed her make her mark.
Susan Sparks had filed an application on April 5, 1877, but no copy of this application was supplied by the National Archives. On May 20, 1889, the Bureau of Pensions asked the War Department to furnish the military records of John C. Sparks. The War Department responded on August 3, 1889, indicating that Sparks had been enrolled on March 10, 1862, at Lancaster, Missouri, in Company E, 2nd Regiment Missouri S. M. Cavalry. He was transferred to Company C in September 1862. In September and October 1863, he was reported as "absent on scout." He was present for duty until he was mustered out with his company on March 21,1865, at St. Louis, Missouri.
On February 12, 1891, Mary E. Coy, aged 45, a resident of Kissee Mills, Missouri, testified that she had been present as a neighbor when Susan J. Sparks gave birth to Laura B. Sparks on December 7, 1870.
On August 24, 1899, Preston Johnson and J. B. Johnson, both of whom were residents of Swan, Missouri, swore that Susan J. Dilkes and John C. Sparks had been married in the month of April, 1865. They also swore that neither Susan nor John had been married before, and that Susan had not remarried after the death of her husband. They stated that Susan and John Sparks had had seven children and that an affidavit containing their names and dates of birth had already been filed with the Bureau of Pensions.
A month later, on September 29, 1899, William A. Shelton, Clerk of Putnam County, Missouri, sent a copy of the marriage record of John Sparks and Susan Dilks. They were married on April 20, 1865, by Daniel Sparks, a justice of the peace in Putnam County, Missouri.
On October 7, 1898, Hiram Lawson, aged 44, and William Woods, aged 63, both residents of Taneyville, Missouri, testified that they were close neighbors of Susan Sparks and knew that she was in poor financial condition. She owned no real estate and her personal property would not amount to $20. She had no income except that which she worked for, and owing to the failure of her eyesight, she was not able to do much work.
Susan Sparks made an affidavit on December 8, 1899, to support her application. She was now a resident of Wattsville, Missouri. She stated that she owned no real estate, and that her personal property consisted of a cow, worth $25, and a few household articles, such as a stove, two beds and bedding, and wearing apparel, worth no more than $25. Her income since 1890 had not exceeded one dollar per month, and during all that time there had been no one legally bound to provide her support.
A few days later, Susan Sparks appeared before a notary public to make another affidavit. She stated that she and her late husband, John C. Sparks, had had three children who were under the age of sixteen years when her husband died on February 17, 1883, in Shawnee County, Kansas. They were: Sarah Jane Sparks, born in Putnam County, Missouri, on June 30, 1877; Everett Craben (?) Sparks,born in Shawnee County, Kansas, on July 7, 1879; and Myrtle Sparks, born in Shawnee County, Kansas, on August 22, 1881.
A few days later, Susan Sparks appeared before a notary public of Taney County, Missouri. She stated that she was unable to furnish any further evidence of the dates of birth of her children other than that which she had already given, and that if her evidence was not deemed sufficient, she wanted to waive that part of her claim which was made on account of her minor children. H. A. Dickenson and C. H. Elliott Witnessed her make her mark.
Widow Certificate No. 496,434 was issued to Susan J. Sparks and she was finally placed upon the pension roll. When she died on March 26, 1906, she was receiving a pension of $8.00 per month.
184.108.40.206 WILLIAM C. SPARKS, son of William and Nancy (Crawford) Sparks, was born July 20, 1838, in Johnson County, Indiana. He married Miranda Whitaker there on May 31, 1859. He served in Companies A & C, 7th Regiment Indiana Cavalry. File Designation: Inv. Appl. No. 774,399.
William C. Sparks made an application for an invalid pension on May 3, 1890. He was 52 years of age and a resident of Schuyler County, Missouri. He stated that he had enrolled on August 5, 1862, in Company A, 7th Regiment Indiana Cavalry commanded by Capt. Parmilee, and was discharged in March 1864 at Canton, Tennessee. He was 5 feet, 6 1/4 inches tall; he had a light complexion, light hair and blue eyes; and he was a farmer. While he was a prisoner of war at Canton, Tenn., in March 1863, he was struck in the right eye by a comrade snapping on an old coup (?) and a piece flying into his eye. The injury eventually destroyed his sight in that eye. He was treated in the Rebel Hospital at Canton, Tennessee. F. I. Millinger and S. S. Millinger witnessed his signature.
Upon receipt of the pension application of William C. Sparks, the Bureau of Pensions requested the War Department to furnish a record of his military service. The Department complied and sent several records including the Company's Muster-In Roll, Company Descriptive Book, Company Muster Roll, Company Roll of Men Transferred, Memorandum from Prisoner of War Records, Discharge Certificate,and two Travel Requisitions.
William C. Sparks was enrolled in Company A, 7th Regiment Indiana Cavalry on August 5, 1863, at Indianapolis to serve for three years. He was paid a bounty of $25. He was present for duty on the Company Muster Roll until January - February 1864 when a notation was entered "Missing on the march since 7 Jan1864." He was carried on the Muster Roll with that same notation until Jan-February 1865, when the notation was changed to "Captured near Paris, Tenn.,January 7, 1864." The Company Muster-out Roll, dated February 18, 1866, at Austin,Texas, contained the following notation: "Joined as recruit in Co. A as within stated. Transferred to Co. C, September 19, 1865." The Company Descriptive Book carried the notation: "Taken prisoner January 7, 1864 near Paris, Tenn. Nothing has been heard of him since, and it is supposed that he died in Southern prison."
One of the most puzzling documents sent from the military file of William C. Sparks is a Certificate of Discharge issued at Austin, Texas, by Capt. Joseph W. Skelton, Company Commander. Capt. Skelton certified that Sparks was a member of Company C, 7th Regiment Indiana Cavalry. He was 25 years of age; he was 5 feet, 6 1/2 inches tall; he had a light complexion, light hair and blue eyes, and he was a farmer. He was born in Johnson County, Indiana. He was mustered into the service at Indianapolis on August 5, 1863. He served with his company in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi and was taken prisoner at Paris, Tennessee, on January 7, 1864, and since That time nothing has been heard from him. The Certificate was dated November 12, 1863.
There were two Travel Requisitions in the military file for William C. Sparks. One of these, dated January 19, 1864, was for his travel from Cairo (Illinois ?) to Columbus, Kentucky, as an "Exchanged Prisoner en route for Regt." The other requisition was dated in July 1864 and authorized the Jeffersonville Rail Road to transport Sparks from Columbus, Indiana, to Indianapolis. Sparks was described as a "Private, Co. A, 7th Regt. Indian Cavalry. Deserter."
The remaining records: in Sparks's military file consisted of an order, dated June 22, 1864, from Col. Conrad Baker, Provost Marshal, Indianapolis, to Capt. S. Stansifer, Provost Marshal, directing him to apprehend William C. Sparks, a deserter from the 7th Regt. Indiana Cavalry, who was reported to be in Hamblen Township, Brown County, Indiana. Sparks was apprehended on July 11, 1864, near Spearsville, Indiana, and sent to Indianapolis.
The Bureau of Pensions requested Sparks to appear before a Board of Examiners for a physical examination on January 21, 1891. The Board found him to be suffering from sciatica and he was totally blind in his right eye. They recommended a twelve-fifteenth disability rating.
Apparently the Bureau of Pensions determined that Sparks was not eligible for an invalid pension, for on August 29, 1891, and again on September 5, 1898, Sparks reapplied for a pension. To the latter application, the Record Office of the War Department sent the Bureau of Pensions the following memorandum: "William C. Sparks, Co. A, 7th Regt. Indiana Cavalry, appears on a Descriptive List of Deserters Arrested, dated July 11, 1864, with the following remarks: 'Arrested near Spearsville, Brown Co., Ind., July 10, 1864, and delivered to this office this day. Arrested in compliance with orders from Col. Conrad Baker, dated Indianapolis, June 22, 1864. This man has a paper purporting to be a Parole setting forth that he was taken prisoner on January 8, 1864. The reward of $30.00 for his arrest & delivery allowed. Escaped enroute to Mil. Station, Indpls."'
On June 22, 1899, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Pensions reviewed the case of William C. Sparks and wrote the following statement to Attorney J. P. Line, Quincey, Illinois: "The above entitled claim for pension rejected on the ground of no title. Claimant deserted from the above named organization as shown by the records of the War Department and has never been discharged therefrom."
On April 30, 1907, K. C. Sparks, aged 66, a resident of Chautauqua County,Kansas, applied for a pension under the 1907 Act of Congress. He stated that he was born in Johnson County, Indiana, on July 20, 1838. He enrolled in Company A, 7th Regiment Indiana Cavalry in October 1864 and was discharged at Union City, Tennessee, in February 1865. Since leaving the service he had lived in Johnson County, Indiana, until 1871; in Putnam County, Missouri, until 1894; in Marion County, Arkansas, until 1896; in Kay County, Oklahoma, until 1897, and in Chautauqua County, Kansas, until the present. He said his discharge papers had burned along with his household, and the dates he had given were from memory. Irven Lonnsburg and G. A. Brooks witnessed his signature.
The last applications for an invalid pension was made by William C. Sparks on October 24, 1916. He was now 77 years of age, and a resident of Fort Dodge,Kansas. He was evidently quite feeble, for William McGovern and Thomas Carrigy witnessed him affix his mark - - until this time he had always signed his name.
Four days later, Congressman Jouett Shouse, Kinsley, Kansas, wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions and asked what further evidence was required to give prompt consideration to the pension application of William S. Sparks of Fort Dodge, Kansas. Sparks had written to Congressman Shouse as follows: "After I was paroled from prison, I was so weak and feeble, not able to get around much, and I had no money, not having been paid for my services. I was not able to travel over the country to find my Company or Regiment, but I learned shortly afterward that they had been mustered out and that is the reason that I have no discharge."
Apparently no further action was ever taken on the application of William C. Sparks. No Certificate was ever issued to him for a pension.
JAMES SPARKS, son of William and Nancy (Crawford) Sparks, was born March 20, 1831, in Johnson County, Indiana. He married Elizabeth Richmond on January 16, 1850, in Johnson County. He served in Company D, 82nd Regiment Indiana Infantry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 955,377.
On August 14, 1897, James Sparks, aged 66, a resident of Powesheik County, Iowa, made application for an invalid pension. He said he had enrolled on July 27,1863, in Company D, 82nd Regiment Indiana Infantry at Indianapolis, Indiana,and had served until he was discharged at Burnt Hickory, Georgia, on May 30,1864. He was now unable to earn a support by reason of rheumatism of the shoulders and arms, and he was troubled with deafness, poor vision and piles. He appointed George H. Onthank, Grinnell, Iowa, as his attorney. L. P. Harison and Saml. Nelson witnessed his signature.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service as he had stated it to be, and a physical examination showed that he suffered from rheumatism and a disease of the rectum. A pension of $6.00 per month was approved and the Bureau of Pensions issued Sparks Invalid Certificate No. 955,377.
Sparks answered a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions on July 4, 1898. He stated that he had been married to Elizabeth Richmond on January 16, 1850, in Johnson County, Indiana, by Morgan Pitcher, a justice of the peace. It was the first marriage for both. They had nine children.
Fanny Sparks, born July 5, 1850
Luanna Sparks, born February 21, 1857
Abigail Sparks, born July 20, 1851
Andrew Sparks, born April 21, 1858
Edward Sparks, born September 28, 1852
William Sparks, born October 18, 1859
Barton Sparks, born December 5, 1855
Crawford Sparks, born June 22, 1866
Catherine Sparks, born April 22, 1869
On March 22, 1907, James Sparks applied for increased pension benefits under the 1907 Act of Congress. He stated that he was 5 feet, 6 inches tall; he had a light complexion, dark hair and dark eyes; and he was a farmer. He was born on March 20, 1831, in Johnson County, Indiana, although his discharge papers stated that he was born in Brown County, Indiana. After leaving the service he returned to Johnson County where he stayed until 1870, and then he moved to Powesheik County, Iowa, where he had lived since. E. H. Bump and C. N. Dawley witnessed his signature and the declaration was sworn to before H. Chafee, a notary public. The application was approved, and Sparks's pension was increased to $20 per month.
Again, on June 18, 1912, Sparks applied for increased pension benefits. He gave his address as R.F.D. 1, Grinnell, Iowa. J. H. Patten and H. J. Patrick witnessed his signature. The application was approved and the pension was increased to $22.50 per month. When he died, on January 19, 1921, he was receiving a pension of $50.00 per month.
220.127.116.11 TALTON EMERSON SPARKS, son of John and Delila Ann (Demar) Sparks, was born August 12, 1840, in Brown County, Indiana. He married 18.104.22.168.2 Susan Hogg on March 17, 1861, in Putnam County, Missouri. He served in Company D, 1st Regiment Missouri State Militia Cavalry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 70,455.
Talton E. Sparks was issued a Certificate of Disability for Discharge on April 10,1865, at Warrensburg, Missouri. According to the certificate, he had enlisted in Company D, 1st Regiment Missouri State Militia Cavalry, commanded by Capt. John Wyckoff, on June 5, 1862, at Unionville, Missouri., to serve for three years. He was 22 years of age; 5 feet 6 inches tall; he had a light complexion, dark eyes and black hair; and he was a farmer. He was now unfit for duty because he had been shot through the left lung on October 25, 1864, at the Battle of Mine Creek while making a charge on the enemy.
A. W. Rose, Surgeon in Charge of the Post Hospital at Warrensburg, said the shot entered Sparks's chest between the 7th and 8th ribs, passing through the lung and emerging near the 10th dorsal vertebra. Sparks was continuing to run a hectic fever and expectorating pus which rendered him unfit for the service; however, he was predicted to recover and would probably be able to follow some light occupation. The certificate was signed by Lt. Charles T. Triplett, Company Commander, and was approved by Maj. Murline C. Wenslee (?), Post Commander.
Talton Sparks apparently applied for an invalid pension in the early part of 1866, for on April 28th of that year, the Adjutant General confirmed his military service to the Bureau of Pensions. The record followed the same statements made on the Certificate of Disability Discharge. Sparks was released from the service because of wounds received in the Battle of Osage on October 25,1864. The Bureau of Pensions issued Sparks Invalid Certificate No. 70,455 and he was placed upon the pension rolls at the rate of $4.00 per month.
On July 28, 1870, Sparks asked for his case to be reviewed for a pension increase. He said his lung injury had never healed and that he continued to cough up bloody pus in such quantities that he was unable to perform manual labor without great pain and danger. Frequently, he was unable to leave his bed for several days at a time. He gave his address as Martinstown, Missouri. Charles T. Triplett and Richard M. Brasfield witnessed his signature and also swore that they agreed with his request since they were former comrades, serving in the same company with him. The application was sworn to before Milton Canby, Clerk of Putnam County Circuit Court.
Sparks asked for a pension increase on May 1, 1885. He was now receiving a pension of $12 per month, but he said that his physical condition was getting worse and he now needed someone to take care of him. The request was notarized by Neal Martin, a notary public.
On two other occasions, Sparks offered evidence in the form of affidavits to support his claim to increased pension benefits. On July 5, 1892, J. M. Corneilson and J. A. Robbins, residents of Graysville, Missouri, stated that they "knew him to Bee intirly disabel to perform manuel laber and is spiting blood more or less all the time." On September 15, 1897, James Hurley and G. F.Schuster, also residents of Graysville, gave about the same kind of testimony. G. W. Hogg and Lon Hogg witnessed their signatures.
Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions on April 24,1916. He said he was born in Brown County, Indiana, on April 24, 1840. He married Susan Hogg on March 10, 1861, in Putnam County, Missouri, by John Furgason. It was the first and only marriage for both of them. His wife had died on January 23, 1916. They had five children:
(Children of Talton F. and Susan (Hogg) Sparks:
John William Sparks was born December 23, 1865.
James Thomas Sparks was born March 21, 1868.
Daniel E. Sparks was born December 1, 1873, and he died on April 22, 1883.
Ira L. Sparks was born December 15, 1878, and he died on March 26, 1907.
Pressley Martin Sparks was born January 24, 1886.
When Talton E. Sparks died at Livonia, Missouri, on August 20, 1917, he was receiving a pension of $30 per month. He was buried in the Hogg Cemetery, Elm Township, Putnam County, Missouri. On November 15th, his son, John W. Sparks, Livonia, Missouri, made application for certain expenses incurred during his father's last illness. Sparks said that Dr. Ida H. Nulten had been paid fully for her services. Husted Bros. & Shibley, undertakers, were still due $68.90,and J. W. & Ellen Sparks were due $75.00 for providing nursing services. P. M. Sparks had paid $35.00 on the burial. B. B. Corneilson and Mrs. G. A. Sparks, both of Livonia, witnessed John W. Sparks make his mark. Nothing was sent from the pension file to indicate what action was taken on the application.
22.214.171.124 GEORGE F. SPARKS, son of Daniel and Mildred (Anders) Sparks was born ca. 1841 in Putnam County, Missouri. He died of wounds on October 15, 1864, in Sedalia, Missouri. He served in Company D, 1st Regiment Missouri State Militia Cavalry. He married Margaret J. Vincent on July 28, 1861. File Designation: Widow's Claim No. 82,253; Certificate 195,487.
A copy of the complete file of papers pertaining to the pension of Margaret Sparks, widow of George F. Sparks, has been obtained from the National Archives.
On January 24, 1865, Margaret Sparks, aged 19 years, a resident of Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, appeared before the clerk of the county court, John R. Sweasinger (?) to apply for a Civil War pension under an Act of Congress dated July 14, 1862. She stated that she was the widow of George Sparks who had been a private in Company D, commanded by Captain John Wycoff in the 1st Regiment of Missouri State Militia Cavalry Volunteers, and that he had died of wounds on October 15, 1864, at Sedalia, Missouri. She further stated that she had been married to George Sparks on July 28, 1861, in Putnam County, Missouri, but that there had been no children. She signed her name as "Margaret Sparks." The witnesses to her application were William Williams and David Cornelision, both of Independence. Both of these men stated that they had known Margaret for the past ten or twelve years and that they had known George Sparks for five or six years in Putnam County. They added that they had both been present and saw said George Sparks and Margaret Vincent married and that they afterwards lived and cohabited together as husband and wife and all the neighbors regarded them as husband and wife. William Williams signed his name but David Cornelision signed by mark.
A document appears in this file from the U.S. Adjutant General's office stating that a record had been found that George Sparks had been "Killed in action at Sedalia, Missouri., October 15, 1864."
The next item in this file, dated March 9, 1880, reveals that Margaret Sparks had not received a pension following her 1865 application and that her attorneys, Bates & Clark of St. Louis, who filed the claim for her, had "abandoned the prosecution of same." On March 9, 1880, power of attorney was given to Milo P. Stevens & Co. of Chicago to try to collect her pension for her. Her problem seems to have been caused in part by her remarriage on October 29, 1865, to Asa Callehan and the fact that she had no record of her marriage to George Sparks.
On December 16, 1880, Peter Greggers, recorder for the Circuit Court of Putnam County, Missouri, provided proof that a justice of the peace named Othenial Bacus had married George F. Sparks and Margaret J. Vincent on July 28, 1861, in Putnam County. Also contained in this file is a statement signed on January 17,1881, by Peter Greggers that Margaret J. Sparks, widow of George, had been married on October ?9, 1865, to Asa Callehan by a minister named Wm. P. Shanklin.
Also contained in the file is a sworn statement dated December 16, 1880, by David Brown, aged 57, and Archibald Robbins, aged 38, of Mendoto (?), Putnam County, Missouri, that they had known both George Sparks and his wife for twenty years and knew that neither had been married previously and that they lived together as husband and wife.
Also contained in tire file is a letter dated September 22, 1881, by the postmaster of Erin Springs, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) stated that he had known William Williams for five years and that his "reputation for credibility is good, he is an honest man and is worthy of belief."
The final document in this file is dated April 26, 1882, and is approval for a pension to be paid to "Margaret Sparks (now Callahan)" at the rate of $8.00 per month for the period from October 16, 1864, the day following the death of her husband, George Sparks, to October 29, 1865, the day on which she married Asa Callahan.
At the time her pension was approved, in 1882, Margaret Callahan was a resident of Texas Creek, Freemont County, Colorado.
(Editor's Note: Each of the Civil War soldiers who was a subject of one of the seven pension papers abstracted in this issue of the Quarterly descends from George Sparks (ca.1777-ca.1855) of Estill County, Kentucky, and Brown County, Indiana. An article on the descendants of this George Sparks has been planned for the June 1981 issue of the Quarterly. Anyone connected with this branch of the Sparks family is urged to write to President Paul Sparks (155 N. Hite Ave.,Louisville, KY, 40206) in the very near future.)