Whole Number 161
[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, although some received pensions from their respective states.) These abstracts have been prepared by Dr. Paul E. Sparks, president of our Association. They are based on copies of the 1'selected" pension papers provided to us by the National Archives in Washing ton, D.C., from the individual files. The National Archives charges $10.00 for a copy of each such file; the "non-selected papers" may be obtained for an additional fee, the amount depending upon the number of papers involved. The papers which a clerk in the past considered to be of greatest genealogical inter est are included in the 1'selected" series. For a more detailed description of theoc records, the reader is referred to page 3730 of the March 1991 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No.153.]
HENRY SPARKS, son of Isaac and Martha (Ballenger) Sparks, was born December 23, 1825, in Ohio. He married Harriet Clingerman on October 16, 1845, in Logan County, Ohio. He died Decem ber 4, 1896. He served in Company C, 66th Regiment Ohio Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 495,132; Wid. Cert. No. 447,067.
Henry Sparks apparently applied for an invalid pension prior to March 1888, but he reapplied on June 14, 1888. He was 62 years of age and a resident of Union County, Ohio. He stated that he had been enrolled on September 23, 1864, in Company C, 66th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry and had served until he had been mustered out with his company on June 1, 1865, at Bladensburg, Maryland. He said that he was 5 feet, 8 inches tall; he had a dark complexion, dark hair, and grey eyes; and that he was a farmer at the time of his enlistment. On or about June 1, 1865, while preparing for the Grand Review at Washington, D.C., he was taken with sunstroke which had left him weak and unable to perform his work. Since leaving the service, he had lived in Union County, Ohio. He ap pointed J. L. Jolliff, Claiborne, Ohio, as his attorney. J. W. Scott and George F. Gooding witnessed his signature.
Two affidavits accompanied Sparks's application. One was made by John Drolls bough who had served in the same military company as Sparks. Drollsbough said that he and Sparks had been with Sherman on the march across Georgia, and at that time Sparks had been an able-bodied man, but when Sparks was mus tered out of the service, he was weak in body and his mind seemed to be im paired. The other affidavit was from Sparks, himself, who stated that he was unable to furnish any records of his fllness. His company commander was dead, and he did not know the whereabouts of the orderly sergeant.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on June 13, 1888. He had been enrolled at Mansfield, Ohio, on September 24, 1864, to serve for one year. He had been present for duty untfl he was mustered out with his de tachment on June 1, 1865, at Bladensburg, Maryland. There were no indica tions of any disability on his records.
On June 8, 1889, Harvey Mather, 69, of Union County, Ohio, and Edward D. Judd, 43, both swore that Henry Sparks had been an able-bodied man prior to entering the service, but after he returned home from the war, he had been in poor health, and his mind appeared to be affected.
On November 28, 1892, John Drollsbough testified again that while stationed near Savannah, Georgia, during December 1864, a shell had burst near Sparks stunning him and affecting his hearing. Afterwards, Sparks's hearing began to fail and was quite poor by the time he was discharged in June 1865.
Invalid Certificate No. 495,132 was issued to Henry Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $10.00 per month. He died on December 4, 1896.
On December 14, 1896, Harriet Sparks, aged 68, a resident of Union County, Ohio, applied for a Widow's Pension. She stated that she had been married to Henry Sparks on October 16, 1845, in Logan County, Ohio, under he maiden name of Harriet Clin german. The marriage ceremony had been performed by the Rev. Thomas Ballinger, M.G. She stated that she was without any other means of support. She appointed A. H. Ash, Marion, Ohio, as her attorney. C. F. Heuger and C. Mattison witnessed her make her mark.
Harriet Sparks made an affidavit on June 3, 1897, in her own behalf. She swore that she was totally disabled and could perform no kind of labor, and she had no property of any kind. C. F. Maines and C. F. Sparks witnessed her make her mark.
Widow's Certificate No. 645,322 was issued to Harriet Sparks, widow of Henry Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $8.00 per month. On August 31, 1897, she applied for increased pension benefits. When she died on January 10, 1899, she was receiving $12.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: For further information on Henry Sparks, see pp. 4081-02 of this issue of the Quarterly.]
ISAAC J. SPARKS, son of Isaac and Martha (Ballenger) Sparks, was born September 29, 1837, in Logan County, Ohio. He was married (first) to Mary Brake on December 31, 1857, and (second) to Louisa L. (Brown) Brake on November 9, 1885. He died on March 4, 1918. He served in Company D, 134th Regi ment Ohio Infantry. File Designation: mv. Cert. No. 305,819.
Isaac J. Sparks apparently made application for an invalid pension sometime dur ing the early part of 1883, for on June 6th of that year, the War Department confirmed his military service to the Commissioner of Pensions. Sparks had been enrolled on May 2, 1864, at Woodstock, Ohio, for 100 days in Company D, 134th Regiment Ohio Volunteers, and had served until he was mustered out with his company on August 31, 1864, at Camp Chase, Ohio. He had been reported as "Absent Sick" at Fort Monroe, Virginia, on June 10, 1864.
The Bureau of Pensions issued Invalid Certificate No. 305,819 to Isaac Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension rolls; however, nothing appears in the "selected papers" from his pension file at the National Archives to indicate the date of this action. During the period 1894-1897, several affidavits were made to support his claim for increased pension benefits because of his poor health. Among the persons from Marysville, Ohio, who made statements on his behalf were: John A. Coleman, 36; Valentine Zoellner, 43; William McCarthy, 74; Thomas Reed, 56; Etta Sparks, 19, who was Isaac Sparks's daughter; Louisa L. Sparks, 46, Isaac's wife; and Wflliam T. Hoops, prosecuting attorney for Union County. Jacob Yeazel, 62, of Fountain Park, Ohio, and a former comrade of Sparks, also made an affidavit to support his claim.
On May 9, 1898, Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pen sions. He said his wife was the former Louisa L. Brown, and that they had 'been married at Bellefontaine, Ohio, on November 9, 1885, by the Rev. J. S. Bitler. Prior to that marriage, he had been married to Mary Brake who had died on September 13, 1882, in Madison County, Ohio. He had two children under the age of sixteen years: Florence B. Sparks, born September 4, 1890, and Edna Sparks, born August 16, 1892.
On February 23, 1910, Dudley P Thornton, judge of the Union County (Ohio) Probate Court, appointed M. C. Sparks as the guardian of Isaac J. Sparks; however, two years later, it was Isaac J. Sparks, himself, who signed a de claration for increased pension benefits under the 1912 Act of Congress. Here Sparks referred to his military service and stated that at the time of his en listment he had been 6 feet tall and had gray eyes and dark brown hair. He had been born Sep29, 1837, in Champaign County, Ohio. W. T. Wood witnessed his signature and also notarized the declaration.
Sparks responded to a second questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions on March 18, 1915. He said that he had been born at Middleburg, Logan County, Ohio. He had been married to Mary Brake on December 31, 1857, in Union County, Ohio, and after her death on September 13, 1882, he had been married to Louisa L. (Brown) Brake on November 9, 1885. She was the widow of Michael J. Brake, who had died on February 10, 1883, in Union County. Brake had served in the 196th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Sparks went on to say that he had twelve children by his first wife, and that he had three by his second wife. They were: (For those no longer living, he gave death dates, not birth dates.)
Hiram Sparks, died June 15, 1882
Celestia Sparks, died 1882
Narcissa Sparks, died November 1913
Aaron H. Sparks, born October 1864
James A, Sparks, born January 4, 1867
Oliver B. Sparks, born January 22, 1869
Alice Sparks, born December 25, 1870
Nellie Sparks, born November 23, 1872
Idella Sparks, died November 5, 1874
Mary E. Sparks, died October 5, 1879
Harry Sparks, born March 5, 1878
Frederick Sparks, born November 15, 1880
Children by his second wife:
Vashti Sparks, died January 30, 1889
Florence B. Sparks, born September 4, 1890
Edna Sparks, born August 16, 1892
When Isaac J. Sparks died on March 4, 1918, he was receiving a pension of $22.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: For additional information regarding Isaac J. Sparks and his family, see page 4083 of this issue of the Quarterly.]
JESSE D. SPARKS, son of Samuel and Mary (Heard or Hurd) Sparks, was born ca. 1839. He served in Company G, 106th Regiment Illinois Infantry. File Designation: Inv. Appl. No. 983,166.
On January 2, 1891, Jesse D. Sparks aged 52, a resident of Mackinaw, Illinois, applied for an invalid pension. He said he had been enrolled on August 2, 1862, in Company 0, 106th Regiment Illinois Infantry and had served until he was dis charged at Springfield, Illinois, on July 12, 1865. During his service, he had strained his back and had injured his left lower leg and was now unable to earn his support. He appointed J. B. Cralle & Co., Washington, D.C., as his attor neys. William Hasty, Jr. and Abe Lance witnessed the declaration.
On January 14, 1891, Charles Martin, aged 52, a resident of Deer Creek, Illinois, and Richard T. Parker, aged 30, a resident of Mackinaw, Illinois, made a joint affidavit to support the claim of Sparks. Both testified that they were well acquainted with Sparks since they were close neighbors and had worked for Sparks on his farm. On some days, Sparks was not able to be out of his house because of his lame back and crippled left foot.
On the same day, W. H. Cambear, aged 47, a resident of Morton, Illinois, testified that he had examined Sparks and found him to be suffering from large varicose veins on his left leg from an old injury to his big left toe. He con sidered Sparks entirely incapable of performing manual labor.
George W. Smith, a notary public. A month later, on February 14, 1891, Sparks completed a second application for an invalid pension. He said that he had in jured his back and his left leg at Camp Latham, Illinois, on or about October 27, 1862. After the injury, he stated that "At first I was sent to my father's house and there treated by Dr. Leeds and afterwards at the hospital at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri." He again appointed J. B. Cralle & Co., Washington, D. C., as his attorneys. Austin Richmond and Mark Short witnessed his signature.
On August 15, 1891, the Bureau of Pensions asked the War Department to furnish the military records of Jesse D. Sparks. They also asked Sparks to appear be fore a Board of Examiners at Bloomington, Illinois, and have a physical examina tion. The Board of Examiners, composed of Drs. A. T. Brown, C. T. Owen, and C. E. Spears, made the following report: "Sparks was 5 ft. 10 1/2 in tall and weighed 149 pounds. He had a greatly enlarged left toe. He also had enlarged varicose veins in this left leg; however, they had not ulcerated nor ruptured. He was entitled to a four-eighteenth rating for disability."
On January 18, 1892, J. B. Cralle & Co., Washington, D.C., received a state ment from the Bureau of Pensions that the War Department could find no military record of Jesse E. Sparks. They suggested that the firm get Sparks's discharge certificate, if avaflable. If that document could not be found, perhaps the names of his commanding officers or the nature of his duties could be furnished.
Apparently during the next two years, nothing was furnished as further evi dence of Sparks's military service or of his disabilities. Finally, on January 23, 1894, the law firm of J. B. Cralle & Co. asked the Comissioner of Pensions to furnish the status of Sparks's pension application No. 983,166.
On September 24, 1894, the Bureau of Pensions informed J. B. Cralle & Co. that the claim of Jesse D. Sparks had been rejected on the grounds that "The records of the War Department show that the claimant deserted on August 20, 1863, and that he has never been discharged from the U.S. Mflitary Service." The case was marked "Abandoned."
[Editor's Note: See Item 2.f. on page 4085 of this issue of the Quarterly for a record of Jesse D. Sparks as a son of Samuel and Mary (Heard) Sparks. This abstract of Jesse D. Sparks's pension application papers was published earlier in the Quarterly (the issue of June 1980, Whole No. 110, pp. 2217-18). We have reproduced it here for easy reference to his service in relationship to that of his cousins, Henry and Isaac J. Sparks, preceding.]