Whole Number 151
[Editor's Note: From time to time we have been publishing abstracts of pension application files for Union soldiers who served in the Civil War. (Confederate soldiers could not qualify for federal pensions.) A great many Union soldiers and their widows (sometimes their parents and their children) received federal pensions for their war service, and the papers comprising their files in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., contain fascinating records of both historical and genealogical significance. We have an index to all of the pension files for persons named Sparks which was compiled for us a number of years ago. For $5.00, it is possible to request copies from the National Archives of what are called the 'selected papers" from a given file. These are the papers in the file (usually no more than ten sheets) which have been chosen because they are the papers thought to be most significant from a genealogical point of view. It is also possible to obtain xerox copies of all the papers in a file, but the cost can run as high as $35.00, depending upon the size of the file. Dr. Paul E. Sparks, President of our Association, has obtained many of these "se lected" files and has abstracted them for publication over the past several years. We shall continue to use these as space permits, with notes regarding any further knowledge that we may have regarding the veteran and his family. It should be remembered when reading these abstracts that we have been limited to what someone at the National Archives has considered to be the most significant from a genealogical viewpoint. These "selected" papers often fail to tell the complete story of the former soldier's attempt (or that of a family mem ber) to obtain a pension. Anyone wishing us to obtain copies of all the papers in a given file may request your editor to do so for the cost involved.]
GREEN SPARKS, was born May 23, 1830, in Illinois, a son of Thomas B. and Penelope ( ) Sparks. His wife's name was Rebecca. He served in Company D, 42nd Regiment Illinois Infantry. File Designation: mv. Cert. No. 279,819.
On May 16, 1882, Green Sparks, aged 56, a resident of Wentzville, Missouri, applied for an invalid pension. He stated that he had enrolled in November 1864 in Company D, 42nd Regiment Illinois Infantry and that while serving in that unit at Spring Hill, Tennessee, he received a gunshot wound in his right thigh while In battle. He was treated in the hospital at Nashville, Tennessee, and at Joe Holt Hospital, Indiana. He stated that he was 5 feet and 9 inches tall; that he had a fair complexion, dark hair, and blue eyes; he was a farmer After leaving the service, he had lived in St. Louis, Lincoln, and St. Charles Counties in Missouri. He appointed William Conard & Co., Washington, D.C., as his attorneys. C. L. Hugg and Austin Owen witnessed his signature, and the declaration was sworn to before John T. Powell, Judge of St. Charles County Probate Court.
Sparks's military service was confirmed by the War Department on September 7, 1883. He had enrolled on October 14, 1864, at Alton, Illinois, in Company D, 42nd Regiment Illinois Infantry to serve for one year. On November 29, 1864, he had been wounded at Spring Hill in the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee. He had been hospitalized at Nashvifle, Tennessee, and had then been sent to the Joe Holt Hospital in Jeffersonville, Indiana, on December 8, 1864. He had been furloughed on February 20, 1865, and then admitted to the hospital at Jeffer son Barracks, Missouri, on April 10, 1865. There was no record in the War Department of his discharge.
On September 12, 1884, the War Department furnished further records of the service of Green Sparks as follows: "Admitted to Joe Holt G.H., Jeffersonville, md., with G.S. wound right thigh and furloughed Feby. 20, 1865. Remarks: 'deserted.' Admitted to G.H. Jefferson Barracks, Missouri., April 10, 1865 (from furlough from Joe Holt Hosptl.) with G.S. wound of right thigh (flesh) and de serted May 9, 1865. The charge of desertion of May 9, 1865, against this man is removed, and he is discharged to date May 9, 1865, to complete his military record under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved July 5, 1884. Discharge certificate furnished by A.G.O., July 31, 1884."
On May 10, 1887, Peter Handshy, aged 61, and Mahala Handshy, aged 55, resi dents of Carpenter, Illinois, made a joint affidavit to support Sparks's applica tion. They stated that he had lived with them after getting out of the service, and that he was so disabled that he could not do a full day's work. A few days later, Mary J. White, aged 50, and Charles L. Hugg, aged 35, residents of St. Charles, Missouri, also made a joint affidavit in which they said that manual labor would actually endanger Sparks's life, due to the condition of the gunshot wound.
Sparks submitted to a medical examination on August 24, 1887. Drs. W. Hallibur ton and J. Paul Gaines described him as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighting 144 pounds. They examined the gunshot wound and reported that "the ball entered at the middle of the femur in inner side of thigh, striking the femur and glanc ing up and burying itself in the muscles of the thigh where it still remains." They recommended a 7/18 rating of the disability.
Invalid Certificate No. 279,819 was issued to Green Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $8.00 per month.
On July 10, 1889, July 9, 1890, and December 9, 1891, Green Sparks received medical examinations in which the doctor's disability ratings were as follows, respectively: 7118 to 12/18; 12118 to 16118; and from 16118 to 17118. He was quite feeble and confined to his bed for long periods of time. When he died on May 14, 1896, he was receiving a pension of $16.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: When he appeared on the 1850 census of Madison County, Illinois, his name was given as W. Green Sparks. He was a son of Thomas B. Sparks (born ca. 1765 in Maryland) and his second wife, Penelope. The Mahala Handshy who, with her husband Peter Handshy, made an affidavit in support of Green Sparks's application in 1887, was actually a sister of Green Sparks; she had been born March 13, 1896. A photograph of Peter and Mahala Jane (Sparks) Handshy appeared on the cover of the September 1982 issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No. 119. In that same issue, pp. 2457-59, appeared a query regarding Green Sparks's father, Thomas B. Sparks, with a listing of his 9 children by his first wife and the 9 by his second wife. Green Sparks was the 16th child of Thomas B. Sparks. Two of Green Sparks's brothers also received pensions for service in the Civil War, Hardy Sparks and James Sparks. Abstracts of their pension applications follow.]
HARDY SPARKS was born ca. January 1, 1821, in Christian County, Kentucky. He died on September 12, 1900. He married (first) Elizabeth A. Randle on September 15, 1842, and (second) to Sarah E. (Crowder) Willis on January 31, 1893. He served in Company I, 122nd Regiment Illinois Infantry. flle Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 811,631.
Hardy Sparks apparently applied for an invalid pension prior to April 1881 for on April 28th of that year, the Bureau of Pensions requested a report of his military record. According to the request, Sparks had completed Pension Application No. 333,485 in which he had stated that he had served in Company 1, 122nd Regiment Illinois Infantry and was disabled by an '1amputation of right arm from bite in fore finger in fight with 'copperheads' at Ris den, Illinois, during short visit to family on April 11, 1863." He said he had been given a dis ability discharge on September 5, 1863. (This first application for a pension would doubtless be included if the complete set of papers in Hardy Sparks's pension file were obtained from the National Archives.)
On April 15, 1882, the War Department confirmed Sparks's military service. He had enlisted at Staunton, Illinois, as a corporal in Company I, 122nd Regi ment Illinois Infantry, on August 12, 1862, for three years. He had been taken prisoner at Humboldt, Tennessee, but had been paroled and rejoined his compand on December 20, 1862, at Trenton, Tennessee. He had been hospitalized in July 1863 and had been given a Certificate of Disability dis charge at Benton Barracks, Missouri, on September 9, 1863.
Apparently Hardy Sparks's first pension application was not approved, for on April 9, 1892, he reapplied for a pension under the 1890 Act of Congress. He stated that he was now 70 years of age and a resident of Greenville, Bond County, Illinois. He repeated the information he had given earlier about his military service and said he was now totally unable to earn his support be cause of the loss of his right arm "which is off about three inches below the elbow." He said he was also suffering from a lung disease. He appointed Joseph Palmer of Greenville as his attorney. George A. Floyd and Robert Savage witnessed his signature.
Hardy Sparks was issued Invalid Certificate No. 811,631, but the beginning date and the amount of his pension were not included in the "selected papers" received from his pension file. On July 5, 1898, he responded to a ques tionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions in which he stated that he had been married to Sarah Ellzabeth Crowder on January 31, 1893, in Bond County, Illinois, by the Rev. Samuel Grigg. He said that he had been married pre viously to Elizabeth Allen Randle who had died on July 27, 1888. He stated that he had four living children, but he was unable to give their dates of birth. They were: Levi S. Sparks, James P. Sparks, Henry C. Sparks, and Samuel G. Sparks. (The latter was probably intended for Sampson G. Sparks.)
When Hardy Sparks died on September 12, 1900, he was receiving a pension $12.00 per month. On October 5, 1900, his widow, Sarah E. Sparks, made application for a widow's accrued pension. She stated that her name before her marriage to Hardy Sparks had been Sarah E. Willis. H. E. Hulen and Robert C. Allen attested her application and said that they were well ac quainted with both Sarah E. Sparks and her late husband, Hardy Sparks, and knew them to be man and wife. Joseph T. Fouke notarized the applica tion. On June 7, 1902, Sarah B. Sparks, age 59, a resident of Greenville, Bond County, Illinois, made an affidavit in which she stated that she had been previously married to Frederick G. Willis before her marriage to Hardy Sparks. Willis had died on April 2, 1881. She stated further that her last and second husband, Hardy Sparks, flad also been previously married to Miss Elizabeth A. Randle on September 15, 1842, according to a Bible record written in the hand of Hardy Sparks. Elizabeth A. (Randle) Sparks had died at Virden, Macoupin County, Illinois, on July 27, 1888. John W. Grigg and Mrs. Ollie Grigg witnessed her signature. On June 11, 1902, the Illinois State Board of Health sent the Bureau of Pen sions a certified copy of the death report of Hardy Sparks. He was 78 years, 8 months, and 11 days in age when he died of lung congestion on September 12, 1900 He had been born in Christian County, Kentucky, but had lived in Illi nois for 60 years. He was buried in Zion Cemetery.
On June 11, 1902, J. C. Wright, age 61, and Henry D. Hughes, age 56, both residents of Bond County, Iffinois, made a supporting affidavit to the claim of Sarah E. Sparks. They stated that they were near neighbors of the Sparkses and that during the last years of Hardy Sparks's life, Sarah had administered to all his wants. Since he was a one-armed person, his wife had had to feed him during the last six months of his life.
The last document (in chronological order) included in the "selected papers" sent from the pension file of Hardy Sparks is an affidavit made on September 9, 1902, by John J. Cox, age 66, and Lafayette N. Roland, age 76, both residents of Virden, Macoupin County, Illinois. They stated that they were neighbors of Hardy Sparks when his wife, Elizabeth Allen Sparks1 had died on July 27, 1888, and knew positively the fact of her death.
Despite the affidavits, no Widow's Certificate was issued to Sarah E. Sparks.
[Editor's Note: Hardy Sparks was the 11th child of Thomas B. Sparks" (born ca. 1765 in Maryland) and his second wife, Penelope . He was a brother of Green Sparks, an abstract of whose pension file appears on pp. 3657-58, pre ceding; he was also a brother of James Sparks whose widow's application for a Civil War pension follows. Hardy Sparks and his first wife, Elizabeth, were shown on the 1860 census of Madison County, Illinois. Living with them were Leon Sparks, age 16; James Sparks, age 14; Henry Sparks, age 11; and Samp son Sparks, age 8. (Leon apparently was called "Levi" in Hardy's pension application.) Also living with Hardy and Elizabeth Sparks in 1860 was Samuel Sparks, age 25, with wife, Maria, and two-year-old William. See the QUAR TERLY of June 1966, Whole No. 54, p. 989 for other Sparkses listed on the 1860 census of Madison County, Illinois; also see the QUARTERLY of September 1982, Whole No. 119, pp. 2457-59 for additional information on the parentage and siblings of Hardy Sparks.]
JAMES SPARKS was born ca. 1834 in Illinois. He died in Madison County, Illinois, on April 4, 1877. He was a son of Thomas B. and Penelope ( ) Sparks. He married Wilhelmina Schwartz in Madison County, Illinois, on April 6, 1856. He served in Company I, 122nd Regiment Illinois Infantry. File Designation: Wid. Cert. No. 257,658.
On January 8, 1887, Wilhelmina Sparks, aged 50, a resident of Edwardsville, Illinois, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she was the widow of James Sparks who had enrolled on August 12, 1862, in Company 1, 122nd Regiment Illinois Infantry. While serving in that unit, he contracted chronic diarrhea and piles from which he never recovered and which caused his death on April 4, 1877. She stated that she had been married to Sparks on April 6, 1856, at Highland, Illinois, by the Rev. Paul Limacher, M.G. It was the first marriage for both. They had one child, Eddie F. Sparks, born May 20, 1866. Mrs. Sparks appointed Louis Wagner, Hifisboro, Illinois, as her attorney. Wilbur M. Warnock and C. M. Schwarz witnessed her signature.
Mrs. Sparks's application was accompanied by an affidavit from Augustus M. Sparks, 47, of Madison CQunty, Illinois, who stated that he had been formerly a lieutenant in command of Company I, 122nd Regiment Illinois Infantry. He stated that James Sparks began ailing in 1864 from the bloody piles and was unfit for duty most of the time until the close of the war. Another affidavit accompanied Mrs. Sparks's application which had been made jointly by Green Sparks, aged 60, and his wife, Rebecca, aged 42, residents of St. Charles, Missouri. Green Sparks stated that James Sparks was his brother and that he had died at their house in 1877. Prior to his death, he stated that his brother had been almost completely helpless because he was weak from losing so much blood. Green Sparks also stated that he was an amateur physician and was well-read in medical books. He had been forced to discontinue his practice, however, because of prescriptive laws and the requirement of a medi cal diploma. He said it was his opinion that the primary cause of his brother's death had been hemorrhage of the bowels.
Green Sparks was supported in his opinion by Thomas Nelson, aged 49; John Gallagher, aged 49; and Carrissa C. Harris, aged 55, all residents of St. Charles, Missouri. They all testified that they had been neighbors of James Sparks and that his death had been caused by the "wasting away of the flesh until he was just a skeleton," all caused by the hemorrhaging of his bowels.
Widow Certificate No. 257,658 was issued to Wilhelmina Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll. On September 23, 1916, she wrote the Bureau of Pensions that she believed she was entitled to an increase in her pension because of her age. She stated that she had been born April 8, 1836, in Germany. When she died on 1 April 1920, she was receiving a pension of $25.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: From other records, we know that James Sparks was a son of Thomas B. and Penelope ( ) Sparks, natives of Maryland and North Caro lina, respectively. Green Sparks, brother of James, who signed an affidavit supporting Wilhelmina Sparks's application for a pension, also received a pen sion for his own Civil War service--see the abstract of his pension papers on pp. 3657-58 preceding. See also another brother's application for a pension, that of Hardy Sparks, the abstract of which appears on pp. 3658-3660, pre ceding. The Augustus B. Sparks who also wrote in support of the application of Wilhelmina Sparks may have been a relative of her husband. He also re ceived a pension for his Civil War services; the reader is referred to the QUARTERLY of June 1972, Whole No. 78, pp. 1493-94, for an abstract of the pension application papers of Augustus M. Sparks.)
CHARLES JENNINGS SPARKS was born ca. October 6, 1840, in New York. He died on April 17, 1873, in New York City. On January 2, 1862, he married Elizabeth McLean Dye in New York City. He served in Company G, 9th New York Volunteer Infantry. File Designations: Wid. Appl. No. 403,492; Wid. Cert. No. 973,353.
On September 3, 1890, Elizabeth McLean Haughey, aged 48 years, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she was the widow of James A. Haughey who had enlisted as a 1st Lieutenant in the 3rd Regiment Delaware Infantry on December 7, 1861. He had continued to serve in the Regular Army until July 18, 1890, when he had died as a result of a sunstroke suffered on a march in Nebraska in August 1889.
Prior to her marriage to Lieutenant Haughey, she had been previously married under her maiden name of Elizabeth McLean Dye to Charles J. Sparks on Janu ary 2, 1862. It had been the first marriage for both. They had one child, Isabelle Sparks, now Isabelle Kress. Sparks had served in Company G, 9th Regiment Volunteer Infantry, also known as Hawkins' Zouaves, from April 23, 1861, to May 3, 1863, when he was discharged. Sparks had died on April 17, 1873, and she had applied for a widow's pension under Application No. 403,492, but her right to a pension had been terminated because of her remarriage to Lieutenant Haughey on October 25, 1876.
United States Senator J. D. Cameron and Isabelle S. Kress witnessed the declara tion of Mrs. Haughey which was prepared in Washington, D.C. The declaration was sworn to before Sarah S. Sampson, a notary public. On the same day, Isabelle Sparks Kress also made an affidavit that she had been present as a maid of honor at the wedding of Elizabeth McL. Sparks to Lt. James A. Haughey on October 25, 1876.
On March 30, 1892, a copy of the death certificate of Charles J. Sparks was sent to the Bureau of Pensions. Sparks had died on April 17, 1873, of phthisis in New York City at the age of 32 years, 6 months, and 11 days. He was a wood dealer. Both of his parents (unnamed) were natives of New York.
On July 1, 1927, Mrs. Haughey made application for a remarried widow's pen sion under the 1916 Act of Congress. She stated that she had been born in New York City on March 20, 1842. She gave essentially the same information about her marriage to Charles J. Sparks as she had in 1890; of his death in 1873; her remarriage to James A. Haughey in 1876; and of his death in 1890. She stated that she was receiving a pension under Pension Certificate No. 276,425 for the military service of Lt. Haughey. She gave her address as 31 Gray St., Newark, New Jersey.
Widow Certificate No. 973,353 was issued by the Bureau of Pensions and Mrs. Haughey was placed upon the pension roll. When she died on June 30, 1932, she was receiving a pension of $50.00 per month. She was buried in the Sparks family plot in the Cypress Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York. Her obituary reads in part as follows:
Mrs. Elizabeth McLean Haughey who died Thursday, June 30, 1932, in her 91st year, was the widow of Capt. James A. Haughey, late of the 21st Infantry, United States Army, and was the daughter of Dr. Clarkson Dye, one of the Pioneers to California in 1849, and Margaret McLean Dye; and the granddaughter of William McLean, Jr. and Elizabeth De Groot McLean, who were associated with the earliest Methodism in New York City.
Her first husband, Charles Jennings Sparks, served in the Civil War as a member of Hawkin's Zouaves, 9th New York Volunteers. She leaves a daughter, Mrs. J. Sparks Kress. Interment was in Cypress Hills Cemetery, lying beside the ashes of her first husband.
On December 1, 1932, Isabelle Sparks Kress, aged 67 years, applied for reim bursement for expenses incurred during the last illness of her mother. She stated that her father, Charles J. Sparks, had come home on furlough from the Civil War to be married. She was the only child born to their marriage. Her mother had lived with her during the last years of her life. Nothing was sent by the National Archives from the pension file to indicate what action, if any, was taken on this request of Mrs. Kress.
[Editor's Note: Because Charles Jennings Sparks was born October 6, 1840, he should have been shown on the 1850 census as nine years of age. (Census takers were instructed in 1850 to report individuals' ages as of June i. 1850.) A Charles Sparks1 age 9. did1 indeed. appear on the 1850 census of New York City, in Ward 9. If this was the same Charles Sparks, as seems very probable. he was a son of James Sparks, born ca.1817 in New York, and Cornelia ( ) Sparks, born ca.1821, also in New York. This James Sparks's occupation was given on the census as "Wood dealer," which was the same occupation as given for Charles Sparks in his widow's application for a pension. The family of James and Cornelia Sparks was given on the 1850 cen sus as follows (all born in New York). Charles Sparks, age 9 [thus born ca.1840] Christian B. Sparks, age 7 [thus born ca.1843] Johanas Sparks, age 5 [thus born ca.1845] Elizabeth Sparks, age 3 [thus born ca.1847]
Also shown as living in the household of James and Cornelia Sparks in 1850 was Stephen Sparks, age 17, also a native of New York. (See the QUARTER LY of March 1982, Whole No. 117, for the complete listing of Sparkses found on the 1850 census of the state of New York, pp. 2378-2398.)]
DAVID SPARKS was born October 9, 1846, in Jefferson County, New York. He married Harriet E. Decker on November 22, 1884. He served in the 4th Battery Wisconsin Light Artillery. File Designations: mv. Cert. No. 1,017,250; Wid. Cert. No. 849,789.
David Sparks filed for an invalid pension on March 12, 1887;, but no copy of the original application was included in the "selected papers xeroxed for us by the National Archives from his pension file. On June 17, 1887, the War Department sent a record of his service to the Bureau of Pensions. He had been enrolled in the 4th Battery Wisconsin Light Artillery on September 30, 1864, at Logansville, Wisconsin, and had served until he was discharged at the Tupelo U.S. Hospital on July 5, 1865. The Commissioner of Pensions issued Invalid Certificate No. 1,017,250 to him, and he was placed on the pension rolls.
On March 21, 1900, Sparks answered a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pen sions. He stated that he had been married to Harriet E. Decker on November 22, 1884, at Reedsburg, Wisconsin, by the Rev. Edgar C. Booth. It was his first and only marriage. He had no children.
Sparks made application for increased pension benefits on October 10, 1908, under the provisions of the 1907 Act of Congress. He stated that he had been born October 9, 1846, in Jefferson County, New York. He was 5 feet 7j inches in height; he had a light complexion, grey eyes, and dark hair; and he was a farmer. He had lived in Reedsburg1 Sauk County, Wisconsin, since leaving the service. M. E. Wyse and Baldwin Rathburn witnessed his signa ture, and the application was sworn to before W. A. Wyse, a notary public.
When David Sparks died on June 8, 1917, he was receiving a pension of $57.00 per month. He was buried at Reedsburg. George Sparks, also a resident of Reedsburg, gave information for the death certificate. He stated that the parents of David Sparks were Jas. and Anna (Palmer) Sparks, both natives of "End." which was doubtless intended for England.
On June 14, 1917, Harriet E. Sparks, aged 73 years and a resident of Reeds burg, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she had been married to David Sparks on November 22, 1884, under the name of Harriet B. Perci val. Prior to this marriage, she had been married twice. Her first marriage had been to Dan Greenfield, and they had been divorced on February 9, 1875. Her second marriage had been to R. B. Percival who had died on June 16, 1883. She appointed the Adjutant General of Wisconsin to serve as her attorney without fee. Clark L. Townsend and W. H. Townsend witnessed her signature and the application was sworn to before Eva Sparks, a notary public.
The clerk of Sauk County sent the Bureau of Pensions a record of the marriage of David Sparks and Harriet E. Percival. According to this record, David's parents were James and Amanda Sparks, and Harriet's parents were Reuben and Catherine Decker.
Four citizens of Reedsburg testified to the three marriages of Harriet Sparks. Cordelia Weidman, aged 70 years; J. A. Richards, aged 68 years; C. M. Kester, aged 75 years; and Mrs. Susan Mead, aged 79 years; all made affidavits that they knew Harriet Decker had been married to Daniel Greenfield, and later to R. B. Percival, prior to her marriage to David Sparks.
Widow Certificate No. 849,789 was issued to Harriet B. Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension rolls. When she died on March 23, 1919, she was re ceiving a pension of $75.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: From the information contained in his pension papers, we know that David Sparks was born October 9, 1846, in Jefferson County, New York, according to his own statement. He gave his parents' names as James and Amanda Sparks when he was married in 1884. The George Sparks, doubtless a relative, who provided information for the preparation of the death certificate for David Sparks in 1917, identified David's parents as '1Jas. and Anna (Palmer) Sparks." Anna was probably a nickname for Amanda. When a professional gen ealogist searched the 1850 census of New York, he found no one named Sparks in Jefferson County. Perhaps James Sparks had moved his family from Jeffer son County between 1846 and 1850, or the family may have been missed when the 1850 census was taken. In the Summer 1964 issue of the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research MAGAZINE, Vol. 27, No. 4, appeared an article by Doris Berning entitled "Veterans' Graves Prior to World War I in Reedsburg and Reedsburg Area Cemeteries, Wisconsin, with Annotations and Additions." Ms. Berning gave the following information regarding David Sparks:
SPARKS, DAVID, born October 9, 1845, Hounsfield, Jefferson Co., New York (obituary gives birth as 1847), died June 8, 1917, buried in Greenwood United Cemetery. He married Hattie E. Percival, nee Decker, who was born in Fulton, Schoharie Co., New York, a sister of Will Decker of Plainfield, Wisconsin David was a son of James and Amanda Sparks. He served 1864-5 in Co. B, 4th Wisconsin Regt. Batt. Lt. Arty. [Ms. Berning's source for birth year of David is not known.]
Ms. Berning also noted that another Civil War veteran named Julius Mortimer Sparks had been buried in the same cemetery as David Sparks. She wrote as follows:
1 SGT. JULIUS MORTIMER SPARKS, born 1834, died March 2, 1899, buried in Greenwood United Cemetery. He married Minnie A. -- His father's name was George Sparks. He served in Co. G, 19th Wisconsin Vol. Inf., transferred to Co. D, 19th Wisconsin Vol. Inf. He enlisted at Ironton, Wisconsin Julius Mortimer Sparks also applied for and received a pension for his service inthe Civil War. An abstract of the "selected papers from his pension file follows. It will be noted that on April 18, 1899, Laura E. Parker, aged 59 (thus born ca. 1840) and David Sparks, aged 52 (thus born ca.1847), both of Reedsburg, Wis consin, stated that Julius M. Sparks was their brother. It would appear that this David Sparks. based on his age, was the same David Sparks under discussion here. If this is true, however, Ms. fleming must have been wrong in identifying Julius Mortimer Sparks's father as George Sparks.]
JULIUS M. SPARKS, was born in 1834. He married (first) Sophronia Yerter in 1858, and (second) to Minnie A. Bamber on November 18, 1868. He served in Companies D and C, 19th Regiment Wisconsin Infantry. File Designations: mv. Cert. No. 462,036; Wid. Cert. No. 484,501.
On March 8, 1887, Julius M. Sparks, aged 52, a resident of Reedsburg, Wisconsin, applied for an invalid pension. He stated that he had been enrolled on February 14, 1862, in Company G, 19th Regiment Wisconsin Infantry and had served until he was discharged on February 14, 1864. He re-enlisted on Febuary 15, 1864, and was transferred to Company D, 19th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers and served until he was mustered out with his company at Richmond, Virginia, on August 9, 1865. While stationed near Baltimore, Maryland, in September 1864, he had contracted bronchitis from exposure incidental to life. He had been treated by Dr. Dodge, Regimental Surgeon, and had been hospitalized at Hampton, Virginia, in November 1864. He was now unable to perform the duties of a farmer. His signature was witnessed by Aaron T. Chamberlain and by T. L. McIntosh, and the application was sworn to before R. G. Everden, Clerk of the Sauk County [Wisconsin] Circuit Court.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on September 2, 1887. He had been enrolled on February 14, 1862, at Ironton, Wisconsin, in Company G, 19th Regiment Wisconsin Infantry. He had been left sick at Madison, Wisconsin, on June 2, 1862, but had rejoined his company and had been present for duty from July 1862 until he was discharged on February 14, 1864. He had re-enlisted on February 15, 1864, and had been mustered out with his company at Richmond, Virginia, on August 9, 1865. He had been promoted to the rank of sergeant on August 1, 1863.
On August 15, 1889, Sparks stated in an affidavit that he had been sent to the field hospital in front of Richmond, Virginia, in October 1864 by Dr. Dodge and then had been sent to the Hampton Hospital near Old Point Comfort where he had remained for two months. He had rejoined his regiment and had been on duty when he was discharged. After his discharge, he returned to Reedsburg, Wisconsin, where he was treated by Dr. N. W. Sallade and Dr. C. A. Rood. Invalid Certificate No. 462,036 was issued to Julius M. Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $4 .00 per month. He died on March 2, 1899, at Reedsburg, Wisconsin. On April 10, 1899, Minnie A. Sparks, aged 49 years, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she and Julius M. Sparks had been married on No vember 18, 1868, by the Rev. John Seamans at Reedsburg, Wisconsin. Her maiden name had been Minnie A. Bamber. She and Sparks had no children under the age of sixteen. She appointed L. C. Wood & Co., Washington, D.C., as her attorneys. W. F. Winchester and Otto Krause witnessed her signature. A week later, on April 18th, David L. Hopper, aged 44, and Robert Port, aged 52, both residents of Reedsburg, made a general affidavit to support Mrs. Sparks's claim. They stated that they were close neighbors of Julius and Minnie Sparks and knew their financial situation. All the Sparkses had was a 20-acre farm worth about $1800 on which there was a mortgage of $200. The farm would produce only a nominal sum after giving the renter two-thirds of the crop. Mrs. Sparks had no other means of income. She and her late husband had no living children, and there was no one legally bound to sup port her. On the same day, Laura E. Parker, aged 59, and David Sparks, aged 32, both residents of Reedsburg, also made an affidavit to support Mrs. Sparks's claim. They said they had known Julius M. Sparks all of his life, since he was their brother. They were present when Julius Sparks married Minnie Bamber. They stated that their brother had been previously married to Sophronia Yerter about 1858, but they had been divorced on January 7, 1868.
At about the same time, Minnie A. Sparks made a Claimant's Affidavit which showed all of the property she owned. The property consisted of 20 acres of land on which she lived and on which there was a frame house. There was a $200-mortgage on the land. Previously, she had sold two horses for $100 and a cow for $35 in order to pay the expenses of her husband's last sickness. She still owed $50 to Dr. C. A. Rood for attending her husband. Her husband had left no life insurance and they had no living children.
On May 5, 1899, Minnie Sparks swore that she had been named and baptized as Mary A. Bamber, but because there were five persons named "Mary" in her home and among her relatives, her father had said that she should be called "Minnie."
Widow Certificate No. 484,510 was issued to Minnie A. Sparks. When she died at Iowa Falls, Iowa, on December 19, 1927, she was receiving a pension of $30 per month.
[Editor's Note: The reader is referred to the editor's note on page 3664, follow ing the abstract of the pension file for David Sparks. It is noted there that his middle name was Mortimer and that his grave is in the Greenwood United Cemetery at Reedsburg, Wisconsin.]
BENJAMIN S. Sparks, was born in Wayne County, Pennsylvania, on February 17, 1832. He married (first) Lydia Prindle in 1853; (second) to Minerva Kincaid in 1869; and (third) to Carrie A. Johnson in 1875. He served in Company G, 42nd Regi ment Pennsylvania Infantry; in Company E, 172nd Regi ment Pennsylvania Infantry; and in Company F, 210th Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 1,101,747.
Benjamin S. Sparks apparently made application for an invalid pension prior to December 24, 1904, for on that date the War Department furnished the Bureau of Pensions with his military record. Sparks had enlisted in Company G, 42nd Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry on July 27, 1861, and had served until Septem ber 14, 1861, when he was discharged for disability. At that time, he was 27 years of age; he was 6 feet tall; he had a sandy complexion, hazel eyes and sandy hair; and he was a lumberman. On October 24, 1862, Sparks had been enrolled as a sergeant in Company E, 172nd Regiment Pennsylvania Drafted In fantry and had served until August 1, 1863, when he had been discharged at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Then on September 17, 1864, he had joined Com pany F, 210th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and had served until May 30, 1865, when he had been discharged at Alexandria, Virginia.
Sparks was issued Invalid Certificate No. 1,101,747, and he was placed upon the pension roll. On December 29, 1904, he responded to a circular from the Bureau of Pensions. He was a resident of Chico, Washington. He stated that he had been born February 17, 1832, in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. He had enlisted in the service at B rockport, Elk County, Pennsylvania, twice, but the last time he enlisted was at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. After leaving the service, he went to Iowa in 1868; to Ashland, Wisconsin, in 1872; and to the state of Washington in 1888. He was presently occupied in real estate and farm ing. He said he was 5 feet, 11 inches tall; he weighed 160 pounds; he had blue eyes, grey hair, and a sandy complexion. John F. Dawson and J. H. Hoar witnessed his signature.
On that same day, Sparks also returned a questionnaire to the Bureau of Pen sions in which he stated that he was a widower. He had been married (first) to Lydia Prindle in Potter County, Pennsylvania, in 1853. They had been divorced in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1869. He had been married (second) to Minerva Kincaid in December 1869 in Des Moines, Iowa. She had died in June 1874. He had been married (third) to Carrie A. Johnson on July 31, 1875, at Ashland, Wisconsin. She had died on November 30, 1897. Sparks said that he had nine children and gave their names and dates of birth. (Note that the first three were children of his first wife, Lydia Prindle; the fourth, Cora B. Sparks, was a daughter of his second wife, Minerva Kincaid; the last five were apparently the children of his third wife, Carrie A. Johnson.) i. Helen M. Sparks, born in August 1854. 2. Arthur Sparks, born in September 1856. 3. Eugene Sparks, born in December 1858. 4. Cora B. Sparks, born 1 April 1871. 5. Lillie L. Sparks, born August 16, 1876. 6. Jeannette M. Sparks, born April 26, 1884. 7. Ernest J. Sparks, born January 26,1887. 8. Walter B. Sparks, born August 27, 1889. 9. Viola Sparks, born May 2, 1895.
On March 2, 1907, Benjamin S. Sparks applied for his pension to be increased to $20.00 per month since he was now over 75 years of age. He appointed Clara S. Taylor, Seattle, Washington, as his attorney. G. B. Dudley and Anna Taylor witnessed his signature.
When Benjamin S. Sparks died on January 10, 1912, he was receiving a pension of $20.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: Benjamin S. Sparks was a son of William B. Sparks (born March 11, 1803) and Rachel (Hines) Sparks, and he was a grandson of John and Lovina (Brewster) Sparks. John Sparks (1750-1825), a son of Richard Sparks of Salem County, New Jersey, served in the American Revolution and received a pension for that service. (See the QUARTERLY of December 1957, Whole No. 20, pp. 251-260, for transcripts of the papers comprising his pen sion file in the National Archives.) Following the death of John Sparks, his widow had also received a pension.
Two brothers of Benjamin S. Sparks also served in the Civil War. One was 45.6.5 Abel B. Sparks, born May 8, 1842, died July 28, 1929. The papers pertain ing to Abel's application for a pension were abstracted for the QUARTERLY of September 1967, Whole No. 59, pp. 1095-96. The other brother who served was Andrew J. Sparks, born ca. 1837, who died in service on April 2, 1865.
In 1868, Rachel (Hines) Sparks, mother of Andrew, Abel B., and Benjamin S. Sparks, applied for a pension based on her son Andrew's service, claiming that, until his death, Andrew had been a principal source of support for his parents. William B. Sparks, father of Andrew, Abel B., and Benjamin S., had died on September 26, 1865, after a long period of jUness. Rachel was granted a pension for her son's service, the last payment being made on September 4, 1881. In a statement regarding Rachel's financial situation when she applied for the pension, it was noted that Benjamin S. Sparks owed her $175.00. (See the QUARTERLY of September 1971, Whole No. 75, pp. 1430-32, for an abstract of the papers pertaining to Rachel Sparks's pension.)
The family of William B. and Rachel (Hines) Sparks appeared on the 1850 census of Potter County, Pennsylvania. (The census taker mistakenly gave William Sparks's middle initial as "P" instead of "B.") The children listed in their household in 1850 were: Benjamin Sparks, age 18. Sarah Sparks, age 15. Andrew Sparks, age 13. Nancy Sparks, age 10. Abel Sparks, age 8. Rachel Sparks, age 5. William Sparks, age 1 .