September 17, 2017

Pages 2637-2640
Whole Number 126

UNION SOLDIERS NAMED SPARKS WHO APPLIED FOR,
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 the June 1979 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 106, for a detailed explanation of these abstracts. It should be noted that they are not based on an examination of the total file of papers preserved in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., for each of the pensioners concerned, but rather on those documents chosen from each file by a searcher at the Archives that he or she believed to have genealogical significance. Xerox copies supplied by the Archives of these papers have been the basis of the abstracts given here.)

ELIJAH ROGERS SPARKS,  son of Allen and Nancy (Rogers) Sparks, was born near Colfax, Indiana, on November 6, 1843. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Elizabeth Barker on April 19, 1866, in Boone County, Indiana, and his second marriage was to Jennie Jordan on March 18, 1891, in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. He served in Company H and Company M, 3rd Regiment Indiana Cavalry and Company M, 8th Regiment Indiana Cavalry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 489,980; Wid. Cert. No. 816,397.

It is known that Elijah Rogers Sparks filed an application for an invalid pension with the Bureau of Pensions on June 7, 1889; however, no copy of the appliation was sent from his pension file in the packet of materials supplied us by the National Archives. His military service was confirmed by the War Department on November 30, 1889. He was enrolled in Company H, 3rd Regiment Indiana Cavalry on August 27, 1862. He was transferred to Company M, same regiment, on September 1, 1864, and to Company M, 8th Regiment Indiana Cavalry on May l, 1865. He was captured near Fayetteville, North Carolina, on March 10, 1865, and confined at Richmond, Virginia, on March 28, 1865. He was paroled at Boulware Hoxis Wharf, Virginia, on March 30, 1865, and sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, on April 2, 1865. He was mustered out on June 9, 1865.

Invalid Certificate No. 489,980 was issued to Elijah Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll. On March 6, 1899, Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He stated that he had been married to Miss Jennie Jordan on March 18, 1891, by Samuel Stallard, a justice of the peace of Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Prior to this marriage, he had been married to Elizabeth Barker on April 19, 1866, in Boone County, Indiana. She had died on November 5, 1887, at Colfax, Indiana. children born to that marriage were:

Anna J. Sparks, born November 16, 1867
Nola May Sparks, born April 17, 1869
William Ellsworth Sparks, born July 10, 1873
Alice Cary Sparks, born December 4, 1877
Bertha Mabel Sparks, born July 31, 1879
Nancy Eveline Sparks, born March 27, 1881
Lillian Bessie Sparks, born June 4, 1883
Herschel Floyd Sparks, born October 9, 1887.

On May 28, 1912, Elijah Sparks, now aged 68 and a resident of Lafayette, Indiana, applied for an increase in his pension under an Act of Congress of 1912. He said that he had enrolled in Company H, 3rd Regiment Indiana Cavalry on August 27, 1862, at Indianapolis, Indiana, and had served until he was mustered out at Columbus, Ohio, on June 9, 1865. At the time of his enlistment he had been 5 feet, 10 inches tall; he had a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark hair, and he was a farmer. He had been born November 6, 1843, near Colfax, Indiana. Clarence Booth and C. P. White witnessed his signature. His pension was increased from $24 to $30 per month.

Elijah Sparks died on January 14, 1916, at the Indiana State Soldiers Home, Lafayette, Indiana. He was described on the death certificate as "retired pension attorney." The name of his father was given as Allen Sparks.

On January 26,1916, Jennie J. Sparks, aged 60, applied for a Widow's Pension. She stated that she had been married to Elijah Sparks on March 18, 1891, at West Lafayette, Indiana. It was her first marriage, but her husband had been married previously. John Tankerley and James N. Hughes witnessed her signature. She was issued Widow Certificate No. 816,397 by the Bureau of Pensions and placed upon the pension roll.

(Editor's Note: The reader is referred to pages 2633-35 of the current issue of the Quarterly for a biographical sketch of Elijah Rogers Sparks and a record of his descendants.)

JAMES ALLEN SPARKS, son of Thomas and Martha (Loveless) Sparks, was born ca. 1838 in Clinton County, Indiana. He married Mariah Wain scott on April 12, 1865, at Frankfort, Indiana. He served in Company G, 105th Regiment Indiana Infantry. File Designation: Wid. Appl. No. 1,204,464.

On April 19, 1923, Mariah Sparks, aged 81, a resident of Frankfort, Indiana, made a declaration for a Widow's Pension under the 1916 Act of Congress. She said she was born December 23, 1841, in Clinton County, Indiana, and that on April 12, 1865, she married James A. Sparks at Frankfort, Indiana, by Allen Sparks, a justice of the peace. Her husband, James A. Sparks, had served in Company G, 105th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry from July 10, 1863, to July 18, 1863.
He died on February 26, 1917. They had no children. Florence Tompkins and William Zumwalt witnessed her make her mark and the declaration was sworn to before Nelson W. Casner, a justice of the peace.

The Indiana State Roster (military) Showed that James A. Sparks was mustered into Company G, 105th Regiment Indiana Infantry (minute men) State Service on July 10, 1863, and mustered out on July 18, 1863.

On May 17, 1923, the declaration of Mrs. Sparks was rejected for the reason that "the organization in which her husband served, Co. G, 105th Indiana Infantry, was not mustered into the service of the United States during the period of the Civil War."

(Editor's Note: The reader is referred to page 2626 of the current issue of the Quarterly for a biographical sketch of James Allen Sparks.)

WILLIAM M. SPARKS,  son of Joseph and Sarah (DeFord) Sparks, was born December 20, 1838, in Clinton County, Indiana. He married Harriet Enna Hosselton about 1859 probably in Fulton County, Illinois. He served in Company I, 72nd Regiment Illinois Infantry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 358,056.

On April 7, 1884, William Sparks, aged 45 years, a resident of Watrous, Territory of New Mexico, made a declaration for an Invalid Pension. He stated that he had enrolled on August 14, 1862, at Chicago, Illinois, in Company I, 72nd Regiment Illinois Infantry Volunteers, commanded by Capt. F. A. Staring, and had served until he was discharged at Vicksburg, Mississippi, on August 7, 1865. On November 28, 1864, he was wounded in his right knee during a skirmish at Duck River, Tennessee, and was treated in the field hospital. Because of this injury, he was now partially disabled from obtaining his subsistence as a practicing physician. He was 5 ft. 7 in. tall; he had a light complexion, brown hair and blue eyes; and he had been a farmer before going into the service. Henry H. Green, Probate Clerk of Mora County, New Mexico, attested to the declaration.

On May 28, 1884, John F. Negley and Joseph F. McClenden appeared before T. J. Sparks, a notary public of McDonough County, Illinois, and swore that they had been members of Company I, 72nd Regiment Illinois Infantry and on the 28th day of November 1864, while in front of Confederate lines at Duck River, Tennessee, they saw Sgt. William Sparks wounded in the knee. A day later, Allen L. Sparks also appeared before T. J. Sparks and made an affidavit that he was the oldest brother of William Sparks and knew that he (William) was perfectly sound in body and limbs before he went into the service.

The War Department confirmed the military service of William Sparks on July 18, 1884. He had enrolled on August 5, 1862, for three years in Company I, 72nd Regiment Illinois Infantry and had served until he was mustered out with the rank of sergeant with his company on August 7, 1865. This regiment was engaged in a skirmist at Duck River, Tennessee, on November 29, 1864; however, available records furnished no evidence of a wound as alleged.

William Sparks made the following statement on April 16, 1885: "I, William Sparks, late of Co. I, 72nd Regt. Illinois Volunteers, was treated by Dr. Beard of our own regiment whom is now dead. The officers that knew of my being wounded were 1st Lt. Jacob Sehanks, commanding the company at that time and who died near Galveston, Texas, of yellow fever in the summer of 1867; 2nd Lt. Packard was killed at Franklin, Tennessee, on November 30, 1864; Sgt. Ely Goran (orderly) died in Fulton County, Illinois, in the winter of 1867. I am the only non-commissioned officer of the above company now living. Lieut. James Smith was assigned to the command of Co. H, 72nd Regiment Illinois Volunteers at New Orleans, Louisiana, in February 1865. He died in Chicago, Illinois, in 1868. The last post-office address of John F. Negley was Bushnell, Illinois, and that of Joseph F. McClenden was Seaville, Illinois." (There is no "Seaville" in Illinois; perhaps Seatonville was intended.)

Invalid Certificate No. 358,056 was issued to William Sparks and he was placed upon the pension roll. On January 15, 1898, he responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He said he had been married to Harriet E. Hosselton in Fulton County, Illinois, by Wm. Bushner. They had five living children:

Clarence A. Sparks, born March 7, 1861
Florence A. Sparks, born August 6, 1866
Carrie D. Sparks, born July 10, 1869
Ada Sparks, born April 2, 1874
Mabel Sparks, born September 15, 1875

On August 15, 1902, Edward Hesch, aged 32, a resident of Glorieta, Territory of New Mexico, made an affidavit that he was the owner of a sawmill where William Sparks lost his hand and a part of his arm in an accident. Sparks was taking lumber from a planer when he got caught and his hand and part of his arm were cut off.

The last declaration by William Sparks for increased pension benefits was made on May 20, 1912. He was 73 years of age and a resident of East Las Vegas, New Mexico. He said he had been born December 20, 1838, on a farm in Clinton County, Indiana. Since leaving the service he had lived in Fulton County, Illinois, from 1865 to 1870; Clark County, Missouri, from 1870 to 1872; Butler County, Kansas, from 1872 to 1878; Benton County, Arkansas, from 1878 to 1879; Rocieda, New Mexico from 1879 to 1906, and East Las Vegas, New Mexico from 1906 to the present. Albert Rogers, Jr. and Ada Sparks witnessed the declaration.

When William Sparks died on July 24, 1922, he was receiving a pension of $72 per month. He lived at East Las Vegas, New Mexico. His daughter, Ada Sparks, gave the information for his death certificate. (She erred on the birth date of her father, stating that he had been born in 1836 rather than 1838; she erred also regarding the name of his mother, stating that she was Josephine DeFord rather than Sarah DeFord.) William Sparks was buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Las Vegas, New Mexico, beside his wife who had died on March 13, 1910.

(Editor's Note: The reader is referred to pages 2618-19 of the current issue of the Quarterly for biographical data on William M. Sparks and a record of his descendants.)

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