Whole Number 120
(Editor's Note: For a number of years 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 in Washington, D.C., for each of the pensioners concerned, but rather on those documents pulled out by a searcher at the Archives that he or she believed to have genealogical significance.)
FAMILY OF JAMES THOMAS SPARKS
|James Thomas Sparks (1844-1916) on the far left, is seated by his wife, Nancy W. (Weatherly) Sparks; also included are seven of their eight children: standing, left to right: Jacob Addison Sparks, Georgia Sparks, Mary Maddaline Sparks, Dolly Ann Sparks, and Samuel McLintock Sparks; seated by his mother is William A. Sparks, and on his left is James Robertson Sparks.|
|JAMES THOMAS SPARKS||was born September 1, 1844, in Gilmer County, Georgia. He died on June 7, 1916. He was a son of James and Dortha Ann (Blackwell) Sparks. He married Nancy W. Weatherly on February 7, 1865. He served in Company D, 10th Regt. Tennessee Cavalry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 570,848; Wid. Cert. No. 814,617.|
James Thomas Sparks made application for an invalid pension on or about February 27, 1879, but the original document was not included in the portion of his file reproduced for us by the National Archives. On Oct 17, 1879, the War Department confirmed his military service. He had enlisted in Company D, 10th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry on January 19, 1864, at Nashville, Tennessee, to serve for three years or during the War. He was present as a corporal until Nov 30, 1864, when he was recorded as "deserted." He returned to duty on February 8, 1865, and was present until he was mustered out as a sergeant on June 30, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee. His records "afford no evidence of wounds on January 26, 1865, neither is there any record of trial by Court-Martial on the charge of desertion or order restoring him to duty without trial."
Sparks was placed on the pension roll under Invalid Certificate No. 570,848.
On May 4, 1898, Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He said that he had been married to Nancy Walker Weatherly on February 7, 1865, at Stony Point, Bradley County, Tennessee, by the Rev. Gilbert Randolph, M.G. It was the first marriage for both. To the union, eight children were born. They were:
William A. Sparks, born May 13, 1866.
James Robertson Sparks, born Nov 29, 1869
Dolly Ann Mahaley Sparks, born June 7, 1872
Mary Magdalen Sparks, born Oct 28, 1874
John Matson Sparks (listed as John Maddison Sparks in the family Bible) born July 31, 1877
Jacob Addison Sparks (twin of John Maddison) born July 31, 1877
Samuel McLintock Sparks, born March 12, 1881
Georgia Sparks, born June 11, 1884.
On September 17, 1900, the War Department informed the Bureau of Pensions that the "Medical Records have been indexed (or discovered) since the report of Octobet 17, 1879, was made, show the following: Treated as J. F. Spark, Pri. Co. D, E. Tenn. Cav. Jany 28 to Feby 6/64. Inflam. Bronchi. Retd. to duty. Remarks: Thru Exc. Barracks."
On May 22, 1912, J. T. Sparks (he now designated himself as "Doctor"), age 68, a resident of Camden, Benton County, Tennessee, made application for increased pension benefits under the 1912 Act of Congress. He said that when he enlisted he was 5 ft. 10 in. tall; he had a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark hair. He had been born September 1, 1844, in Gilmer County, Georgia, and was a farmer at the time of his enlistment. J. A Sparks and S. M. Sparks attested the application which was sworn to before A. N. Presson, a justice of the peace.
James Thomas Sparks died on June 7, 1916, at Camden, Tennessee, and on July 8, 1916, his widow, Nancy W. Sparks, age 75, made application for a widow's pension. She stated that her husband had left no children under the age of sixteen years. M. J. Rushing and L. T. Elmore, both of Camden, witnessed her signature and the application was sworn to before A. N. Presson, a justice of the peace.
Apparently the Bureau of Pensions insisted on more supporting evidence, for on August 22, 1916, Ann Weatherly, age 58, made an affidavit that she was present when James T. Sparks and Nancy W. Weatherly had been married on February 7, 1865. At the same time, G. W. E. Herrin, age 66, and Clay Rushing, age 47, both of Camden, Tennessee, also made affidavits that they had known James T. Sparks and Nancy W. Sparks for forty years as man and wife. Then on September 23, 1916, John G. Hearring, Clark of the Bradley County, Tennessee, Court, sent a copy of the marriage record of James T. Sparks and Nancy W. Weatherly as it appeared in Marriage Record Book l, page 4, showing their marriage on 6 February 1865.
When Nancy W. Sparks died on April 20, 1920, she was receiving a pension of $25.00 per month.
(Editor's Note: A photograph of James Thomas Sparks and his family appears on the cover of this issue of the Quarterly. As stated in his pension papers, James Thomas Sparks was born in Gilmer County, Georgia, on September 1, 1844. He was a son of James Sparks and Dortha Ann (Blackwell) Sparks. The marriage of James Sparks and Dorothy Blackwell is recorded in Marriage Record Book A in Lumpkin County, Georgia, as having taken place on Oct 22, 1837. It is be lieved by descendants that her name was Dortha Ann rather than Dorothy. Some have thought that her maiden name was Black rather than Blackwell. She was a "full-blooded Cherokee Indian" according to some descendants. She was born 15 January 1815, and died on May 13, 1908.
James Sparks, father of James Thomas Sparks, was a native of South Carolina. The 1850 census gives his age then as 32, thus he was born ca. 1818. From census and family records, we believe that James and Dortha Ann Sparks had children named:
(1) William D. Sparks, born Nov 3, 1838, who married Harriet M. Woody; he also received a Civil War pension, an abstract of which follows this sketch;
(2) John Sparks, born ca. 1842;
(3) James Thomas Sparks, born September 1, 1844;
(4) Samuel Sparks, born ca. 1846 and moved to Alabama;
(5) Mary Sparks, born ca. 1847;
(6) Sarah Sparks, born ca. 1849, married Henry Waldrup and moved to Benton County, Tennessee, in 1898;
(7) Jacob Sparks, born 1851;
(8) Martha Sparks, born 1853;
(9) Abiline Sparks, born 1856, believed to have died in youth; and
(10) Mattie Sparks, born 1858, married Robert Stewart, moved to Benton County, Tennessee, in 1898.
Sometime in the 1860's, James Sparks and his family moved to Silver City in Forsyth County, Georgia. About 1864, James Thomas Sparks moved to Tennessee, where he married Nancy Walker Weatherly in 1865, as stated in his pension application. After the death of James Sparks in Silver City in 1892 or 1893, James Thomas Sparks brought his mother to his home in Tennessee.
A great-granddaughter of James Thomas Sparks (Anita Collins of 18 Belknap Beach, Prospect, Kentucky) has described James Thomas Sparks as "a Baptist preacher, a country doctor, and postmaster of Bristow, Tennessee." An expanded record of this branch of the Sparks family is planned for a future issue of the Quarterly. We welcome additional family records from descendants.)
|WILLIAM D. SPARKS||was born Nov 3, 1838, in Habersham County, Georgia; he died on 13 January 1913. He was a son of James and Dortha Ann (Blackwell) Sparks. He married Harriet M. Woody on Decem ber 19, 1869. He served in Company D, 10th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 344,958 & Wid. Cert. No. 759,561.|
William D. Sparks filed an application for an invalid pension in September 1871, and, apparently, it was approved; unfortunately, a copy of this initial application was not included in the packet of materials sent from his file by the National Archives. The earliest document received was dated August 14, 1890, and it is an application from Sparks requesting additional pension benefits under the 1890 Act of Congress to increase pension benefits. He was 52 years old and lived in Pisgah, Gilmer County, Georgia. He said he had enlisted on 1 January 1864, as a sergeant in Company D, 10th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry, commanded by James T. Abernathy, and was discharged with his company on August 1, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee. At the time of his enlistment, he stated that he was 6 feet, 2 inches tall, had a fair complexion, blue eyes and black hair, and he was a farmer. During April 1864, he contracted catarrh which had gradually grown worse and which prevented him from doing the work of a farmer. He said he was already receiving a pension under Invalid Certificate No. 344,958. R. H. Burnett and Jason L. Ellis witnessed his signature and the application was sworn to before W. N. Cochran, a justice of the peace.
On May 4, 1898, Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He said he had been married to Harriet Matilda Woody on December 19, 1869, at Ellijay, Georgia, by J. P. Chastain, M.G. It was the first marriage for both. Children born to this marriage who were still living in 1898 were:
Mary L. Sparks, born Nov 23, 1870
John J. Sparks, born Nov 18, 1872
Martha A. Sparks, born July 30, 1874
Frances E. Sparks, born Oct 16, 1877
Haty A. Sparks, born 2 January 1880
Dosha J. Sparks, born February 21, 1882
William R. Sparks, born February 14, 1885
William D. Sparks made another request for increased pension benefits on May 28, 1912, under the 1912 Act of Congress to increase Civil War pensions. He was now 73 years of age and was living at McCaysville, Fannin County, Georgia. He stated that he had been born Nov 3, 1838, in Habersham County, Georgia. George M. Foster and W. C. Bowers witnessed his signature.
Sparks died on 13 January 1913, at Copper Hill, Tennessee, and his widow, Harriet M Sparks, age 71, then applied for a widow's pension. She appointed M. Elliott Waggaman, Washington, D.C., as her attorney. When she died on Oct 2, 1916, she was receiving a pension of 12.00 per month.
On January 29, 1917, William R. Sparks, age 32, of McCaysville, Georgia, made application for reimbursement for the expenses incurred during the last illness and burial of his mother, Harriet M. Sparks. He stated that he and his brother, J. J. Sparks, had paid their mother's doctor, Dr. E. M. Akins, 20.00 for his visits. They had also paid Center and Abernathy, undertakers, 47.00, and Kelley and Waters 15.00 for livery. We received nothing in the packet of xeroxed material from the National Archives to indicate what action was taken on the application.
(Editor's Note: William D. Sparks was the eldest son of James and Dortha Ann (Blackwell) Sparks. He was a brother of James Thomas Sparks whose Civil War pension papers have been reproduced in abstract form on pages 2462-63, above. See the Editor's Note following that abstract for further information on this family. )
|WILLIAM SPARKS||son of Elijah B. and Elizabeth (Anderson) Sparks, was born ca. 1834. He died on July 24, 1865. He served in Company F, 1st Regiment Maryland Cavalry. File Designation: Mother Cert. No. 265,244.|
On December 12, 1887, Elizabeth Sparks, age 73, a resident of Parkton, Baltimore County, Maryland, made application for a Mother's Pension. She said that she was the wife of Elijah B. Sparks and the mother of William Sparks who in June 1861 had enlisted as a private in Company F, 1st Regiment Maryland Cavalry at Baltimore, Maryland, for a period of three years. He had re-enlisted and had served in the Union Array until his death on July 24, 1865, at Richmond, Virginia. She stated that she had been dependent upon her deceased son for her support because her husband, Elijah B. Sparks, 80 years of age, was unable to support her. Three of her children survived their brother, William's, death, named: Edward Sparks, born 1836; Elmira Sparks, born 1838; and Annie Sparks, born 1841. (It is not clear why she named only the three oldest children--there were six others as will be noted in the Editor's Note at the end of this abstract.) She appointed George E. Lemon, Washington, D.C., as her attorney. W. H. Burton, James C. Bosley, William Foster, and Thomas J. Hunter witnessed her mark.
The War Department confirmed the military service of William Sparks. He had been enrolled on Oct 25, 1861, at Baltimore for a period of three years. He was present for duty until Oct 13, 1864, when he was marked on the duty roster with the word "deserted." A reward of $30.00 had been offered for his apprehension, and upon his return he was confined at Fort McHenry until Oct 26, 1864, when he was sent to Alexandria, Virginia, where he was found guilty by a ccurt-martial. He was sentenced to return to his military unit and to forfeit $10.00 of his monthly pay for eighteen months and make good all the time lost by desertion. He rejoined his unit on 4 January 1865, and was present for duty until June 30, 1865, when he was hospitalized in the Richmond U.S. General Hospital. He died of acute diarrhea on July 29, 1865. His military record showed that his age was 25 when he enlisted. He had a dark complexion and black eyes and hair. He was born in Baltimore County, and he was a clerk by occupation.
On April 25, 1888, Elizabeth Sparks made a general affidavit in which she stated that she was 74 years of age and her post office address was Parkton, Maryland. She said her son, William Sparks, had served under Capt. Robert Wilson and had died in Richmond, Virginia, in 1865 after the surrender of General Lee. The ages of her children (those then under 16) in 1865 had been: Rebecca Sparks, age 16; Jane Sparks, age 13; Rachel Sparks, age 9; Bettie Sparks, age 6; and Sallie Sparks, age 2. Mrs. Sparks went on to state: "My husband has been my support since the death of my son, William. I have never received any express envelopes from my son since he was in the service. My husband did not own any real estate in 1865 and does not own any at this date. The personal property that we have does not amount to over one hundred dollars in value consisting of household furniture. My husband was in 1865 and is at this time a Toll Gate Keeper, Salery 200 per year. He has not any income from any other source nor has not any other income at this time. My husband in the year 1865 was 58 years old and not fit to do much manual labor on account of his age and general debility incident to a person of his age. My son William was never married. Befor he was in the service, he gave me money frequently but do not know how much. When he came home while in the service, he always gave me money."
Jacob E. Lowe and Annie R. Lowe (her son-in-law and daughter) witnessed Mrs. Sparks make her mark and the affidavit was sworn to before Thomas Kauffman, a justice of the peace. John W. Shanklin, Circuit Court Clerk, certified that Kauffman was a justice of the peace.
Three general affidavits accompanied that of Mrs. Sparks. The first was made by Annie R. Lowe (a daughter of Mrs. Sparks) and J. Scott Price who testified that William Sparks, son of Elizabeth Sparks, had served in the array and had died while in the service. They also stated that Elizabeth Sparks had very limited means of support because her husband was unable to work.
Rachel E. Sullivan, age 39, Glencoe, Maryland, and Bettie E. Bosley, age 37, of Parkton, Maryland, daughters of Elizabeth Sparks, testified that, prior to going into the military service, their brother, William Sparks, gave their mother about $8.00 per month from the wages he received as a baker. While in the service, their brother gave his mother about $5.00 per month. James C. Bosley and Thomas Kauffman witnessed the affidavit.
The third affidavit was made by John C. Little, age 42, and Nicholas Morris, age 48, both of Parkton, Maryland. They stated that neither Elizabeth Sparks nor her husband, Elijah B. Sparks, owned any real estate and very little personal property. Their only income was that from Elijah B. Sparks's job as a Toll Gate Keeper and that was not sufficient to support the family of Elizabeth Sparks which was composed of five young daughters and a husband who could not perform manual labor.
Apparently the affidavits convinced the Bureau of Pensions that Elizabeth Sparks was, indeed, deserving of a pension, and on 1 March 1890, a Mother's Certificate No. 265,244 was issued authorizing the payment of a pension of 12.00 per month to her, retroactive to December 29, 1887. She continued to receive the pension until her death on Oct 4, 1897.
(Editor's Note: Elijah Brown Sparks was born Oct 17, 1807, according to a biographical sketch of his son, John H. Sparks, that appeared in Genealogical and Biographical Record of Leading Families _of _the City of Baltimore published by the Chapman Publishing Company in 1797. According to this account (page 238) Elijah Brown Sparks "was a saddler by occupation, and met with considerable success being enabled to give his large family excellent advantages and comforts of life." Elijah Brown Sparks was a son of Elijah Sparks (1754 -1812) and his wife Annie Sparks (1756 -1808); both were buried in the St. James Churchyard in Mockton, Maryland. The father of Elijah Sparks was Josiah Sparks, who was born ca. 1729 and died about 1765, of Baltimore County, Maryland. (See the June 1958 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 22, for additional data on this family.)
Elijah Brown Sparks and Elizabeth Anderson were married in Baltimore County on April 10, 1832. They became the parents of ten children:
1. William Sparks, born ca. 1834, whose service and death in the Civil War have been recounted above.
2. Edward A. Sparks, born ca. 1836. According to the biographical sketch of his brother, John H. Sparks, cited above, Edward A. Sparks married Elizabeth Clark, daughter of Richard Clark of Baltimore and "was formerly sheriff of this county, and is now (1897) a prominent business man."
3. Elmira Sparks, born ca. 1838. She married Lewis Dawson, a farmer of Baltimore County. In 1897, according to the sketch of John H. Sparks cited above, Lewis and Elmira (Sparks) Dawson were the parents of five children.
4. Ann ("Annie") Rebecca Sparks, born ca. 1840-41, married Jacob E. Lowe.
5. Alice Jane Sparks, born ca. 1842, married Joseph Hartman.
6. Rachel E. Sparks, born ca. 1844, married Artemus Sullivan, a farmer in Baltimore County.
7. John H. Sparks, born June 7, 1846. He married Lavinia, daughter of George Lucas Anderson. The biographical sketch about him, cited above, indicates that he was a blacksmith and machinist. There is no reference to children in this sketch..
8. Joshua Sparks was born ca. 1848.
9. Elizabeth ("Bettie") Sparks was born ca. 1850; she married James C. Bosley.
10. Sarah ("Sally") Sparks was born ca. 1841; she married Matthew Drake.
|NICHOLAS SPARKS||died at Edgewater, New Jersey, ,on August 19, 1887. He married Fanny Heart at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 6, 1859. He served, first, on the U.S.S. Stanton and then transferred to the U.S.S. Suwanee sometime near the commencement of the Civil War. He was discharged from the Navy and he then enlisted in Company I, 10th Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers. File Designation: Wed. Appl. No. 13094.|
On January 18, 1893, Fanny Sparks, aged 58, a resident of Burlington, New Jersey, applied for a widow's pension under the 1890 Act of Congress. She stated that she was the widow of Nicholas Sparks who had served in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Stanton and U.S.S. Suwanee during the Civil War. Sparks had died at Edgewater, New Jersey, on August 19, 1887. She had been married to him on September 6, 1859, at Philadelpha, Pennsylvania, under her maiden name, Fanny Heart, by a justice of the peace named George Patchel. It had been the first marriage for both. They had no children under the age of sixteen years when she applied for a pension in 1893. She appointed George E. Lemon, Washington, D.C., as her attorney. On March 22, 1893, the Treasury Department notified the Bureau of Pensions that the name of Nicholas Sparks could not be found on the rolls of the Suwanee during the War of Rebellion. The rolls had been searched to the year 1868.
On December 19, 1893, Fanny Sparks made an affidavit to support her application. She stated that her husband, Nicholas Sparks, "had shipped first on the U.S. Steamer 'Staneton' and afterwards had transferred to the U.S. Steamer 'Swanee,' the same year President Lincoln was killed." She said he was discharged at the end of the war, but his discharge papers were burned.
On or about Nov 22, 1897, Fanny Sparks filed another affidavit to support her claim for a pension. She stated, "I have no record of the time my husband, Nicholas Sparks, enlisted. He first enlisted in the U.S. Steamer Suwanee and was transferred to the Stanton. I think this was in 1861 as it was at the commencement of the war. When discharged, he enlisted in Co. I, 10th Regt. N.J. Volunteers. All the letters he wrote to me while in the service was destroyed at the time our house burned when we lived between Beverly and Bridgeboro in 1872. I do not think he was in the Naval service a full year. He was discharged from the Infantry service in April of 1865 on account of the close of the war."
On September 20, 1898, Fanny Sparks made another affidavit in which she said she was unable to furnish a record of her marriage to Nicholas Sparks, since apparently the Alderman of the City of Philadelpha who performed the ceremony had failed to return the license. The Alderman was now dead and his records had been lost or destroyed. She said she was now 69 years of age, and had no income other than what she was able to produce by her own labor which did not amount to more than seventy-five dollars per year.
The Bureau of Pensions did not approve the application of Fanny Sparks, despite affidavits from William R Schuyler and William M. Ardell, who testified that they knew of her marriage to Nicholas Sparks, and also of her desperate need for support.
|MARTIN AARON SPARKS||son of Aaron and Lucinda (Simpson) Sparks, was born September 26, 1841, at Townshend, Vermont. He married (1st) Julia A. Reynolds, and (2nd) Addie L. Gale. He served in Company D, 16th Regiment Vermont Volunteers and in Company F, 1st Regiment Frontier Cavalry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 570,343; Wid. Cert. No. 850,140.|
On September 17, 1885, Martin A. Sparks, aged 41 years, a resident of Townshend, Vermont, applied for an invalid pension. He stated that he had enrolled on August 29, 1862, in Company D, 16th Regiment Vermont Volunteers, commanded by David Bell, and was discharged at Brattleboro, Vermont, on August 10, 1863. At the time of his enlistment, he was 5 feet, 9 inches tall; he had a dark complexion and black hair; and he was a stage driver. On or about 1 Jul 1863, while serving at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he suffered an inguinal hernia which had disabled him so much that he could not perform his occupation. He appointed James H. Vermilya & Co. of Washington, D.C., as his attorneys. Allen L. Cook and H. H. Chamberlain witnessed his signature.
Sparks's military service was confirmed by the War Department on February 26, 1886. He was enrolled on August 29, 1862, at Townshend, Vermont, as a private in Company D, 16th Regiment Vermont Volunteers. He was present for duty until August 10, 1863, when he was mustered out with his company. His regiment was in action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, from July 1st to July 3rd, 1863. His name was not on the regimental hospital records; however, the records ended on June 25, 1863.
Only one affidavit was made to support Sparks's claim. In an undated statement, Mrs. Lucy L. Stowell, aged 45 years, a resident of Grafton, Vermont, stated that she was a sister of Martin Sparks and remembered that when her brother came home from the service on Saturday, the following Wednesday he went to see Dr. Chapin, the family doctor. Her mother told her that her brother had been injured in his private parts while in the army. Dr. Chapin was now dead.
Martin Sparks was issued Invalid Certificate No. 570,343, and he was placed upon the pension rolls. On September 17, 1899, he answered a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He said that he had been married to Addie L. Gale on December 31, 1887, at Grafton, Vermont, by the Rev. B. S. Morse. Prior to that, he married Julie A. Reynolds, but she had died on August 14, 1884, at Town shend, Vermont. He had three living children in 1899; they were:
Willie M. Sparks, aged 23, by his first wife (thus born ca. 1876.
Harry Martin Sparks, born Nov 26, 1888, by his second wife.
Ethel Amelia Sparks, born December 11, 1890, by his second wife.
Sparks applied for increased pension benefits on February 19, 1907, under an Act of Congress of 1907. He reaffirmed his military service, but added that he had also served in Company F, 1st Regiment Frontier Cavalry from January 3, 1865, until he was discharged on June 27, 1865. He said that he was now 64 years of age and that he had been born September 26, 1842, at Townshend, Vermont. Herbert T. Evans and J.W. Stoddard witnessed his signature and the statement was sworn to before M. H. Miles, a notary public.
Sparks responded to a second questionnaire on March 24, 1915. He repeated the information he had given earlier, but added the following: He had married Julia A. Reynolds on August 25, 1867, and they had had three children: Harry Roy Sparks, born 8 January 1872; Bertie Guy Sparks, born February 12, 1874; and Willie Merrill Sparks, born August 17, 1876. Harry and Bertie were now dead.
When Martin A. Sparks died on Nov 19, 1917, he was receiving a pension of 24.00 per month. According to information given on his certificate of death by W. M. Sparks (probably his son, he had been born September 26, 1841. His father was Aaron Sparks and his mother was Lucinda Simpson. He was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery at Townshend, Vermont.
On December 7, 1917, Sparks's widow, Addie L. Sparks, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she and Martin Aaron Sparks had been married at Grafton, Vermont, on December 31, 1887. Her husband had died on Nov 19, 1917. There were no children under the age of sixteen years. Mrs. Ethel Cole and L. J. Parker witnessed her signature, and the declaration was sworn to before W. H. Miles, a notary public.
The town clerk of Townshend, Vermont, A. M. Cutler, sent a copy of the marriage record of Martin A. Sparks and Addie L. Gale to the Bureau of Penssions on December 7, 1917. The record showed that Martin A. Sparks was 46 years old at the time and was an engineer; it was his second marriage; and his parents were Aaron Sparks and Lucinda (Simpson) Sparks. Addie L. Gale was 32 years of age at the time of her marriage to Sparks; this record also indicates that her parents were Reuben Gale and Betsey (Derry) Gale. They were married at Grafton, Vermont, on December 31, 1887, by the Rev. B. S. Morse, Clergyman.
Widow Certificate No. 850,140 was issued to Addie L. Sparks and she was placed upon the pension rolls.
(Editor's Note: Martin Aaron Sparks was a son of Aaron Sparks (born Nov 2, 1803 and Lucinda Simpson who had been married on March 16, 1823, in Dover, Vermont. Aaron Sparks was the twelfth child of Ebenezer and Margaret (Love) Sparks. Ebenezer Sparks, grandfather of Martin Aaron Sparks, was born in the town of Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut, on February 12, 1758, and died on January 11, 1832, in Dover, Vermont; he was the only son of Samuel Sparks, Jr. Ebenezer was married twice, first to Olive Love in 1778; she died August 22, 1780. They had one child, a daughter named Olive, who was baptized on 16 January 1779, in South Killingly, Connecticut. Following his discharge from the army at the close of the American Revolution, Ebenezer married as his second wife, Margaret Love, on August 22, 1782, in Dover, Vermont. She was born March 5, 1762, and was a sister of Ebenezer's first wife. The documents pertaining to the application of the widow of Ebenezer Sparks for a pension based on his Revolutionary War service were published in the Quarterly of March 1957 (Vol. V, No. 1, Whole No. 17), pages 195-203. A biographical sketch and a record of the children of Ebenezer Sparks, as well as a list of the children of his son, Aaron Sparks, appear on pages 193-195 of the same issue of the Quarterly.)
|MAJOR A. SPARKS||son of Richard and Julia Ann (Cummins) Sparks, was born Oct 12, 1836, in Jackson County, Indiana. He married (1st) Margaret Carlisle on March 12, 1857, and (2d) Phoebe Sarah Richart, on March 6, 1879 He served in Company F, 67th Regiment Indiana Volunteers. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 384,966; Wid. Cert. No. 933,218.|
Major A. Sparks received a Certificate of Disability for Discharge on April 14, 1863, at Millikins Bend, Louisiana, from his commanding officer, Capt. William G. Hale. Capt. Hale stated on the certificate that Sparks had enlisted as a corporal in Company F, 67th Regiment Indiana Volunteers at Medora, Indiana, on August 9, 1862, to serve three years. He had been born in Jackson County, Indiana and was 25 years of age; he was 5 feet, 7 inches tall, had blue eyes, a fair complexion and auburn hair; and he was a farmer by occupation. Hale stated that Sparks was afflicted with chronic diarrhea which had rendered him unfit for military service for the last three months. The Regimental Board of Survey concurred and the certificate was approved by Col. Theodore E. Buehler, Regimental Commander.
Major A. Sparks made application for a pension on or about September 1, 1887, and he was issued Invalid Certificate No. 384,966.
On June 29, 1898, and again on March 30, 1915, Sparks, living on R.F.D. 2, Robinson, Illinois, responded to questionnaires from the Bureau of Pensions in which he stated that he had been born Oct 12, 1836, in Jackson County, Indiana. He had been married to Phoebe S. Richart on March 6, 1879, in Crawford County, Illinois, by the Rev. David Bussard. He had been previously married to Margaret Carlisle on March 12, 1857, in Washington County, Indiana, by the Rev. E. E. Coffin, M.G. His first wife had died on December 19, 1877. Major A. and Margaret (Carlisle) Sparks had five children:
Philanda Jane Sparks Weirich, born Oct 30, 1857.
Catherine Isabelle Sparks Cornett, born February 29, 1860.
James Columbus Sparks, born Nov 24, 1862; died September 12, 1865.
William Sherman Sparks, born 4 January 1865.
Mary Etta Sparks Kennedy, born December 9, 1870.
The only child born to Major A. Sparks and his second wife, Phoebe S. Richart, was:
John Richard Sparks, born February 7, 1881.
In the latter part of the year 1900, Sparks applied for an increase in his pension benefits claiming that he was now unfit to perform any manual labor because of his physical impairment brought on by the chronic diarrhea contracted while in the service. He said he had been forced to leave his farm work to a hired hand. Elihu Chambers, age 67, a former army comrade, and Benjamin M. Alexander, age 72, a neighbor, made affidavits to support Sparks's claim.
On September 7, 1907, Major A. Sparks, now 70 years old, made application for increased pension benefits under a 1907 Act of Congress for this purpose. He said that he had lived in Crawford County, Illinois, since 1865. Five years later, on May 23, 1912, he made a similar application under the provisions of a 1912 Act of Congress. Nothing was sent to us in the packet of xerox copies of documents from his pension file by the National Archives to indicate what action was taken on these requests.
Major A. Sparks died on Nov 15, 1922. The Certificate of Death was completed by Dick Sparks, of Robinson, Illinois, who stated that the parents of Major A. Sparks were Richard Sparks, born in Kentucky, and Anna Cummins, born in Indiana. Burial was in the New Robinson Cemetery on Nov 18, 1922. (This "Dick Sparks" was probably the youngest son of Major A. Sparks, whose full name was John Richard Sparks.)
On 2 January 1923, Phoebe Sparks, widow of Major A. Sparks, made application for a widow's pension. She stated that she had been born in Owen County, Indiana, on February 7, 1838, and that she had been married to Sparks on March 6, 1879, under her maiden name of Phoebe Sarah Richart. She appointed Benjamin Carey of Robin son, Illinois, as her attorney. She was issued Widow Certificate No. 933,218 and was placed upon the pension rolls. When she died on May 11, 1926, she was receiving a pension of 30.00 per month.
(Editor's Note: Major A. Sparks was a son of Richard A. Sparks (born ca. 1805) and his first wife, Julia Ann Cummins; they were married June 17, 1830, in Jack son County, Indiana. Julia Ann (Cummins) Sparks died February 16, 1849. It will be noted in the following abstract of the pension application of James C. Sparks, brother of Major A. Sparks, that Richard A. Sparks applied for a "father's pension" based on the fact that James C. Sparks had died while serving in the Union Army and that Richard A. Sparks was still living in 1892. The second wife of Richard A. Sparks was named Hannah ----- (1813-1859). In 1891, Richard A. Sparks stated that at the time of the death of his son, James C. Sparks, in 1862 his wife's name was Salina Sparks, age 44; she apparently was a third wife.
Richard A. Sparks was a son of Stephen Sparks, born in June 1775 in what is now Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, died August 9, 1851, in Jackson County, Indiana. Stephen Sparks moved with his father, James Sparks, to Kentucky in 1782 and in Jefferson County, Kentucky, he married Catherine ("Catha") Padget on August 13, 1799• Stephen Sparks served in the War of 1812 and documents pertaining to his application for bounty land for that service were abstracted for the December 1963 issue of the Quarterly (Vol. XI, No. 4, Whole No. 44) pp. 781-2; information is also provided there regarding his children (pp.782-3).
James Sparks, father of Stephen, was born in Cranbury, Middlesex County, New Jersey, about 1750. He went as a small boy with his parents and several brothers to what became Allegheny County. Pennsylvania, prior to the American Revolution. James Sparks served in the Revolution and his application for a pension was published in the Quarterly of September 1954 (Vol. II, No. 3, pp. 40-45). James Sparks was a son of Richard Sparks (born ca. 1725, died about 1792) of Middlesex County, New Jersey, who moved with his family prior to the American Revolution to the area of Pennsylvania that became Allegheny County. For a sketch of the life of Richard Sparks, see the Quarterly of December 1971 (Vol. XIX, No. 4, Whole No. 76) pp. 1440-46.)
|JAMES C. SPARKS||son of Richard A. and Julia Ann (Cummins) Sparks, was born May 19, 1840. He died on March 15, 1862. He served in Company G, 50th Regiment Indiana Infantry. File Designation: Father's Cert. No. 351,609.|
On June 9, 1888, Richard A. Sparks, age 78, a resident of Handy, Crawford County, Illinois, made application for a Father's Pension. He stated that he was the father of James C. Sparks who had enlisted on Oct 9, 1861, at Seymour, Indiana, in Company G, 50th Regiment Indiana Infantry and who died on March 15, 1862, at Munfordville, Kentucky, of "Camp Diarrhea" while in the military service. Richard A. Sparks stated that he had been married to the mother of James C. Sparks on June 20, 1830, in Jackson County, Indiana, and that she had died on February 16, 1849, at their home in Jackson County. He appointed Edwin A. Von de Veld, of Cass County, Missouri, as his attorney and the application was witnessed by Alfred Parker and George W. Joines.
The War Department confirmed the military service of James C. Sparks on December 24, 1888. He had enrolled as a corporal on Oct 9, 1861, in Company G, 50th Regiment Indiana Infantry at Seymour, Indiana, for three years and was present on the regimental rolls until his death on March 15, 1862, at Munfordville, Kentucky. The cause of his death was not stated on the records.
On March 19, 1890, J. C. Martin, age 33, and M. B. Hamilton, age 51, both residents of Hardinsville, Crawford County, Illinois, testified that Richard A. Sparks, father of James C. Sparks who died while in the military service, was 80 years old and totally incapable of performing manual labor because of age and infirmity, and that his income was insufficient for his support. The Affidavit was sworn to before Harrison Martin, a justice of the peace.
On August 15, 1890, Richard A. Sparks made another application for a Dependent Father's Pension. He confirmed much of the information he had furnished earlier, but added that his son had left neither widow nor child. He said he was without any means of support and asked to be placed on the pension roll under the 1890 Act of Congress. James E. Cornett and William Walker witnessed his mark.
On December 31, 1891, Marion Waldrop, age 40, and Charles Martin, age 35, both of Crawford County, swore that Sparks could not support himself. On the same day, Sally Carlile, age 52, and Frances M. Fowler, age 48, also of Crawford County, stated that they had examined the family records of Richard A. Sparks and had found that James C. Sparks had been born May 19, 1840. He had never married. His mother had died on February 16, 1849. Rosa Martin and Catherine Waldrop witnessed the affidavits.
On the same day, Richard A. Sparks, now aged 82, swore that in 1862 he had lived at Sparksville, Jackson County, Indiana. In April 1865, he moved to Crawford County, Illinois, where his post office was Hardinsville. He said that in 1862 the only members of his family had been himself, age 53; his wife, Salina Sparks, age 44; and his son, James Sparks, age 21. He said there was no other person who was legally bound to support him after March 15, 1862. Rosa Martin, Henry Wilkinson, Frances M. Fowler, and Sally Carlile attested to his affidavit which was sworn to before Harrison Martin, a justice of the peace.
The last document (in chronological order) sent by the National Archives from the pension file is an affidavit from Major A. Sparks, age 55, a resident of Crawford County, Illinois, which he made on September 3, 1892. (Major A., Sparks was another son of Richard A. Sparks--see the earlier pension record, pp. 2468-9.) He stated that he was nursing Richard A. Sparks and knew he was dangerously ill and would probably not live but a few days. A Father's Pension Certificate No. 351,609 was issued to Richard A. Sparks, but there were no documents provided by the National Archives to reveal the date of issuance of this certificate nor the amount of the pension provided. We do not know the date of death of Richard A. Sparks.
(See the Editor's Note following the abstract of the pension file of Major A. Sparks on the previous page for information regarding this family.)