October 6, 2017

Pages 2554-2558
Whole Number 123

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



(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 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 an examination of the entire file of papers in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., for each of the pensioners concerned, but on those documents pulled from each file by a searcher at the Archives that he or she believed to have genealogical significance.)

(A further note from the Editor: In this issue of the Quarterly we are publishing abstracts of the pension applications of three brothers, sons of James S. and Martha (Peterson) Sparks. The family of James S. Sparks appeared on the 1850 census of Seneca County, Ohio. According to that census record, James S. Sparks was a physician and had been born in Pennsylvania about 1802. Martha Sparks, wife of James S. Sparks, according to this census, had been born in New Jersey about 1804. From the record of the marriage of their son, James P. Sparks, as supplied by the Monroe County (Michigan) Clerk as part of his pension file, the maiden name of Martha had been Peterson. James S. and Martha (Peterson) Sparks must have moved to Ohio soon after their marriage (for that matter, they may even have been married in Ohio), because according to the 1850 census, all of their children were born in Ohio.)

The census record showing the family of James S. Sparks in Seneca County, Ohio, in 1850 was published in the Quarterly of December 1977 (Whole No. 100), pp. 1956-57. The children of James S. and Martha (Peterson) Sparks as shown on this 1850 census were the following. There may, of course, have been others born after 1850.

1. John G. Sparks, born ca. 1828, died June 18, 1903. He married (first) Susan R. Measels and married (second) Samantha A. (Denison) Beigh. (See his pension application abstract beginning on page 2554, below.)

2. Josiah S. Sparks, born ca. 1831.

3. Jeremiah Sparks, born ca. 1831 (perhaps he was a twin of Josiah).

4. Sarah Ann Sparks, born ca. 1835.

5. Martha Sparks, born August 4, 1837. (This date of birth is based on her testimony regarding a pension for her brother, James P. Sparks.) She married FNU Longstreet.

6. James P. Sparks, born August 14, 1839. He married (first) Mary Celest(?) and married (second) Isadora ["Lillie"] Whitman. (See his pension application abstract beginning on page 2556.)

7. George W. Sparks, born March 21, 1843. He married Esther Showalter. (See his pension application abstract beginning on page 2558.)

8. Jane L. Sparks, born ca. 1846.

  JOHN G. SPARKS,   son of James S. and Martha (Peterson) Sparks, was born ca. 1828 in Ohio. He married (first) Susan R. Measels, ca. 1851, and married (second) Samantha A. (Denison) Beigh on June 30, 1878, in Seneca County, Ohio. He served in Company G, 25th Regiment Ohio Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 364,251; Wid. Cert. No. 564,492.

On or about June 9, 1880, John G. Sparks, aged 54, a resident of Republic, Ohio, made a declaration for a Invalid Pension. He said that he had enrolled in Company G, 25th Regiment Ohio Infantry on June 18, 1861, and had served until he was mustered out on June 18, 1865, at Columbus, Ohio. During June 1863, while stationed near Brooks Station, Virginia, he had had an attack of typhoid fever which finally settled in his heart. He had been hospitalized at Frederick, Maryland, then was sent to Little York, Pennsylvania. From there, he had been sent to the Chestnut Hill Hospital. He had rejoined his company in September 1863. He was now (1880) greatly disabled and could no longer earn his living as a farmer. He appointed Milo B. Stevens, Cleveland, Ohio, as his attorney. Theo Measels and L. W. Levre witnessed his signature.

On February 17, 1882, John R. Hill and William Pancost, both residents of Republic, Ohio, testified that they had served in the same company with Sparks and knew that when he went into the service he was a healthy and strong man, but that when he left the service he was in bad physical condition because of sickness and exposure.

The War Department confirmed the military service of John G. Sparks on September 21, 1882. He had enrolled at Columbus, Ohio, on June 18, 1861, in Company G, 25th Regiment Ohio Volunteers to serve for three years. He was reported as "absent-sick" from May to August 1862 and also from May to October 1863. He reenlisted on January 1, 1864, as a Veteran Volunteer and served until he was mustered out with his company on June 18, 1866.

Invalid Certificate No. 364,251 was issued to John G. Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll. On June 4, 1898, he responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He stated that he had been married to Samantha (Denison) Beigh on June 30, 1878, at Republic, Ohio, by the Rev. J. T. Warner, M.G. Prior to this marriage, he had been married to Susan R. Measels who had died on July 3, 1874. He had four living children in 1898, the mother of whom had been his first wife, Susan R. (Measels) Sparks:

1. Edson Sparks, born June 29, 1852.
2. James Sparks, born April 11, 1865.
3. Mary Sparks, born February 17, 1870.
4. Emma Sparks, born April 9, 1872.

When John G. Sparks died on June 18, 1903, he was receiving a pension of $24 per month. On June 25, 1903, his widow, Samantha A. Sparks, applied for a Widow's Pension. She said that she and her late husband had been married on June 30, 1878. Both of them had been married previously - - she to Charles W. Beigh and he to Susan R. Measels. Charles W. Beigh had died on November 4, 1876. Susan R. (Measels) Sparks had died on July 3, 1874, at the age of 45 years; she had been a native of Maryland.

Three neighbors of Samantha A. Sparks made affidavits to support her claim. They were Mary C. Neikirk, aged 66; William Huffman, aged 63; and Edson T. Stickney, aged 79. All were residents of Republic, Ohio.

Widow Certificate No. 564,492 was issued to Samantha A. Sparks and she was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $30 per month. On September 16, 1916, she applied for an increase in her pension, stating that she was now 79 years of age, having been born in Tompkins County, New York, on December 18, 1837.

On November 8, 1926, Samantha A. Sparks made declaration for a Re-Married Widow's Pension. She said that she was formerly the widow of Charles Wesley Beigh who had died on November 4, 1876, at Greensprings, Ohio. Beigh had enlisted under the first draft in 1861 as a private in Company H, 47th Regiment Ohio Infantry and had served until the close of the war. After Beigh's death, she had married John G. Sparks, a pensioner who had served in the 25th Regiment Ohio Infantry. After Sparks's death in 1903, she was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $30 per month. She now requested that she be permitted to relinquish that pension and receive the $50 per month to which she was entitled as the widow of Charles Wesley Beigh.

When Samantha A. Sparks died in the Masonic Home, Springfield, Ohio, on February 25, 1929, she was receiving a pension of $50 per month.

(Editor's Note: John G. Sparks was a brother of James P. Sparks and George W. Sparks, whose applications for Civil War pensions follow.)

 JAMES P. SPARKS son of James S. and Martha (Peterson) Sparks, was born August 14, 1839, in Seneca County, Ohio. He married (first) Mary Celest (?), ca. 1867, and married (second) Isadora ["Lillie"] Whitman on October 6, 1897. He served in Company H, 101st Regiment Ohio Infantry, and in Company H, 8th Veterans Reserve Corps. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 767,090; Wid. Cert. No. 896,896.

On September 11, 1886, James P. Sparks, aged 48, a resident of Dundee, Monroe County, Michigan, applied for an Invalid Pension. He stated that he had enrolled on August 11, 1862, in Company H, 101st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and that he had been discharged on July 5, 1865, from Company H, 8th Veterans Reserve Corps. Because of his military service, he stated that he was now suffering from rheumatism and heart disease. During December 1862, he lay wet all night during a rainstorm at Nashville, Tennessee, while guarding a supply train just before the Battle of Stone River. He was taken prisoner, but was paroled at LaVergne, Tennessee, and sent to Nashville. There he was treated by a Dr. Boyle and then sent to a hospital as a paroled prisoner where he served as a nurse. In June 1863, he was sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, where he was treated in the post hospital. He appointed 0. L. Mathews of Ann Arbor, Michigan, as his attorney. Vernon D. Foster and John Bruckner witnessed his signature.

The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on March 9, 1887. He had enlisted on August 11, 1862, in Company H, 101st Regiment Ohio Infantry. He was admitted to the hospital at Nashville, Tennessee, on April 3, 1863, with chronic diarrhea. He was also treated at the post hospital at Camp Chase, Ohio, in November 1863 for palpitation of the heart. He was 5 feet, 9 inches in height; he had a light complexion, light hair, and blue eyes; and he was a carpenter.

Invalid Certificate No. 769,090 was issued to James P. Sparks and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $4.00 per month.

On May 25, 1896, Sparks applied for increased pension benefits. He said that after leaving the service he had been treated by Dr. Henry K. Spooner at Republic, Ohio. Since that time he had had "almost continuous treatment to the present for rheumatism and heart disease, but all the doctors are dead except Dr. Spooner and a Dr. McClure whose whereabouts I have been unable to find." Sparks said he was sending testimonies of Joseph and Mary A. Cook and of George W. Sparks and Martha A. Longstreet.

James D. and Mary A. Cook, aged 83 and 76 years respectively, residents of Dundee, Michigan, made a joint affidavit on May 2, 1896, to support Sparks's request. They said they had known him since 1854 and that he had been a strong, able-bodied man until he came home from the service on a furlough. He was then so crippled that he had to walk with a cane. He was also afflicted with heart trouble.

On May 21, 1896, Martha A. Longstreet testified that she was a sister of James P. Sparks and was two years and ten days older than he. He was born August 14, 1839. She said she could remember when they came to arrest him as a deserter and he had his furlough papers in his pocket. Their mother lived with her son and so did James for quite some time after he left the service. He suffered from crippling rheumatism and from heart disease brought on by military service.

On the same day, George W. Sparks, aged 52, a resident of Waterloo, Indiana, also made an affidavit to support the request of James P. Sparks. He stated that he was a brother of James P. Sparks and had enlisted with him and served with him until June 19, 1863, when James was ordered north as a paroled prisoner. This was because during the winter of 1862, James was detailed to guard a wagon train and was captured by the enemy. He was then paroled and rejoined his company, but he was so badly crippled by rheumatism that he eventually had to leave his company. After his discharge, George Sparks said he had met his brother at the home of James D. Cook where James Sparks's wife had lived while he was in the service. At that time, James was so badly crippled that he was forced to walk with a crutch.

James P. Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions on June 3, 1898. He said he married Isidora Whitman on October 6, 1897, at Petersburg, Michigan, by James H. Page, a justice of the peace. Prior to this marriage, he had been married to Mary Celest (?) who had died on April 14, 1894. He and his first wife had three children:

1. Olin Pearl Sparks, born April 6, 1868.
2. Lora Maud Sparks, born July 23, 1871.
3. Claud Linsley Sparks, born March 29, 1883.

On December 21, 1914, Sparks applied for increased pension benefits, by reaffirming much of the information he had given earlier. He said he had been captured by Col. Hawkins of Wheeler's Cavalry at LaVergne, Tennessee, on December 30, 1862, but was recaptured by his company soon afterwards and taken to the hospital at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where he stayed until February 1863. He was then sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, as an irregular paroled prisoner. There, on November 4, 1863, he received a certificate from the Post Surgeon, Thomas McFadden, that he was unfit to rejoin his regiment for duty. On February 20, 1864, he was detailed to guard the Provost-Marshal's Office at Chillicothe, Ohio, but on October 19, 1864, he was sent to Camp Douglas, Illinois, where he stayed until he was discharged on July 2, 1865.

When James P. Sparks died on January 5, 1920, he was receiving a pension of $20 per month. On January 23, 1920, his widow, Lillie Sparks, aged 55, applied for a Widow's Pension. She said that she had been married to James P. Sparks on October 6, 1897. Prior to that marriage, she had been married to George Fleming from whom she was divorced on January 24, 1895.

The Clerk of Monroe County, Michigan, sent a certified copy of the marriage record of James P. Sparks and Lillie Fleming to the Bureau of Pensions. This record shows that they were married on October 6, 1897; that Sparks had been 58 years of age and had been born in Ohio. This record also gave his parents' names as James S. and Martha (Peterson) Sparks. He had been married once previously. Lillie Fleming was 33 years of age and had been born in Ohio; she was a daughter of John and Josephine (Sherman) Whitman. She had been married twice previously.

On March 20, 1920, Lillie Sparks wrote to the Bureau of Pensions as follows:

"My correct maiden name was Isadora Whitman, but was changed to Lillie when I was adopted by David Armstrong. After getting my divorce from George Fleming on January 24, 1895, I married FNU Thomas Brown who died on January 2, 1897."

Widow Certificate No. 896,896 was issued to Lillie Sparks and she was placed upon the pension rolls. She died on December 12, 1944.

(Editor's Note: James P. Sparks was a brother of John G. Sparks, whose pension application abstract appears on pp. 2554 -56; he was also a brother of George W. Sparks whose pension application abstract follows.)

 GEORGE W. SPARKS son of James S. and Martha (Peterson) Sparks, was born March 21, 1843, in Seneca County, Ohio. He married Esther Showalter on March 2, 1875, in DeKalb County, Indiana. He served in Company H, 101st Regiment Ohio Infantry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 78,833.

On December 8, 1866, George W. Sparks, aged 22 years, a resident of Republic, Ohio, executed a Claim of Officer or Soldier for Invalid Pension before Wm. M. Johnson, Judge of the Probate Court of Seneca County, Ohio. Sparks swore that he had enlisted as a private in Company H (commanded by Capt. Jesse Schriver) of the 101st Regiment Ohio Infantry in August 1862 and had served until he was discharged on June 10, 1865. On or about September 19, 1863, while engaged in the Battle of Chickamauga, Tennessee, he received a wound from a musket ball which struck him between his left shoulder blade and his backbone and traveled upward through his neck and lodged in the left side of his face. This injury now prevented him from grasping or carrying anything or performing any kind of labor to sustain himself. Since leaving the service he had resided in Republic with friends. He appointed N. P. Colwell of Republic as his attorney and E. A. Ogden and J. f. Cook witnessed the claim.

The War Department donfirmed Sparks's military service on March 5, 1867. He had served in Company H, 101st Regiment Ohio Volunteers and was wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga on September 19, 1853. He was mustered out with his company on June 12, 1865.

Invalid Certificate No. 78,833 was issued to George W. Sparks on March 20, 1867, and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $4.00 per month. On September 12, 1868, he applied for increased pension benefits because his old war injury had become so chronic that he could not work or rest after any exertion. He said he was a carpenter and he had great trouble in practicing his trade. He reappointed N. P. Colwell as his attorney. James P. Sparks and Thomas Sourwine witnessed his signature and the application was sworn to before John L. Cole, a notary public.

On June 30, 1891, Henry Willis and John Duncan, residents of Waterloo, Indiana, made a joint affidavit that Sparks had lived in DeKalb County, Indiana, for nine years and owned a house and lot in Waterloo where he lived with his family.

George W. Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions on March 31, 1915. He said that he had been born March 21, 1843, at Fort Republic, Ohio. He had been married to Esther Showalter on March 2, 1875, at Auburn Indiana, by the Rev. Crawford. His wife had died on January 2, 1913. They had three children:

1. Dora Sparks was born December 15, 1875, and died on May 15, 1880.
2. Lelia Sparks was born December 15, 1877.
3. Dana Sparks was born June 5, 1879.

Sparks applied for increased pension benefits on June 25, 1918. He was now 75 years of age and lived at Montpelier, Ohio. He said he believed he was entitled to additional pension because of his age. Edward Kelly and G. L. Laser witnessed his signature.

George W. Sparks died on August 25, 1919, and on October 8, 1919, S. B. Welch of Montpelier, Ohio, wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions on behalf of Mrs. Lelah M. Little. (This was the second daughter shown above as "Lelia" - - she had married FNU Little.) He asked for the necessary blank forms for Mrs. Little to procure the accrued pension ($40.00 per month) which was due her father. Mrs. Little had taken care of her father during his last illness. Nothing was sent from the pension file to show what action was taken on her request.

(Editor's Note: George W. Sparks was a brother of John G. Sparks and James P. Sparks--abstracts of their pension application files appear on pp. 2554-57.)

top