Whole Number 162
[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 "selected" pension papers provided to us by the National Archives in Washington, 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 pages involved. The papers which a clerk in the past considered to be of greatest genealogical interest are included in the "selected" series. For a more detailed description of these records, the reader is referred to page 3730 of the March 1991 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 153.]
JAMES S. SPARKS, son of William and Elizabeth (Barton) Sparks, was born ca. 1836 in Kentucky, and died on May 24, 1885, in Missouri. He married Hattie C. Hale on November 25, 1862, in Marion County, Missouri. He served in Company C, Berry's Battalion Missouri Cavalry. File Designations: Inv. Cent. No. 126,697; Wid. Appl. No. 501,253.
On August 11, 1871, James S. Sparks, aged 35, a resident of St. Joseph, Missouri, applied for an invalid pension. He stated that he had enlisted on or about November 15, 1861, in Company C, 25th Regiment Missouri Volunteers and had served until he was discharged on or about February 14, 1862. He was then described as 5 feet, 7~ tall; he had a fair complexion, brown hair and grey eyes; and he was a tobacconist. While charging on his horse near Liberty, Missouri, in an effort to dislodge some rebels (called Bushwhackers), his horse had stumbled and fallen, and, as a result, he had received a rupture which now rendered him incapable of earning his support. He said that he had never received a record of his discharge. Since leaving the service, he had lived in St. Joseph where he practiced his trade as a tobacconist. He appointed Hill & Trewitt, Washington, D. C., as his attorneys. Robert N. Phillips and John D. Holms witnessed his signature, and the declaration was sworn to before John B. Harder, clerk of the Buchanan County Court.
On October 3, 1871, Seril P. Hyde, late captain and commander of General Prentiss' bodyguard, made an affidavit to support the declaration of James S. Sparks. He stated that on December 1, 1861, he was in charge of Company C, of the 25th Regiment of Missouri Volunteers near Liberty, Missouri, when they Lad been ordered to rout a party of rebels. While in pursuit of the enemy, the ompany had crossed a bridge, and several of the horses fell and their riders iad been seriously injured. Among these was James Sparks, who had been so adly injured that he had been unable to remount and proceed with the rest of he company.
Two days later, on October 5th, Sparks, himself, made a supporting affidavit to Lis claim. He stated that he was badly disabled and permanently injured by a upture on his left side which had been caused as follows: While he had been a art of the detached cavalry of the 25th Regiment of Missouri Volunteers, he was ent with a scouting party under the command of Capt. Seril P. Hyde to dislodge a party of rebels in Clay County. The company had been running at full speed ri pursuit of the enemy when they came to a bridge over a small ravine. There, ne of the horses stumbled, causing several others to fall and throw their riders. Fe (Sparks) had been thrown so violently against a stump that he received a evere internal injury and a rupture which had prevented him from proceeding rith his company. He went on to say that the reason he had not made an earlier pplication was because he had not received a written discharge from his command rig officer, although he had often asked for such discharge. He had been reguirly mustered out with his company. A large number of his comrades at the time ikewise, had not received their discharges. This affidavit was sworn to before ohn B. Harder, clerk of the Buchanan County Court.
On October 20, 1871, Dr. William Bertram, a resident of St. Joseph, Missouri, rnde a supporting affidavit for the claim of James S. Sparks. He said that in )ecember 1861, he had been the brigade surgeon of General Hall's Brigade and ~edical director of the 7th District of Missouri in the service of the United States lhile in this capacity, he had attended James S. Sparks who was suffering from hernia on the left side. He had given Sparks medical treatment and had fitted Lim with a truss. This affidavit was sworn to before P. V. Wise, a notary ublic of Buchanan County.
In February 13, 1872, Seril P. Hyde, late captain of Company D, Detachment of ien. Prentiss' Bodyguard, again made an affidavit to support Sparks's claim. He ertified that Sparks had been a member of Company D of a Battalion of Cavalry ~etachment which was attached to the 25th Regiment of Missouri Infantry Voluneers, known as Gen. Prentiss' Body Guard, and in the service of the United tates from December 1, 1861, until February 15, 1862. Sparks had been disharged on the muster-out roll on February 15, 1862.
James S. Sparks made another affidavit on August 12, 1872, to support his claim. le informed the Commissioner of Pensions that the reason his name was not found n the roll of Company C, 25th Regiment Missouri Volunteers, was because he Lad not belonged to the 25th Regiment. The 25th Regiment had been organized originally as the 13th Regiment Missouri Infantry Volunteers, but in November 861, it had been reorganized as the 25th Regiment. He (Sparks) was enlisted in Company C, Berry's Battalion of Cavalry with Capt. S. P. Hyde and George H. Lembrough. This battalion had been attached to the 13th Regiment under the command of Col. Peabody (there being another 13th Regiment Missouri Infantry Lflder Col. Wright.)
Sparks went on to say that he had enlisted sometime in October 1861 at St. oseph, Missouri, as a private and had been promoted to "2nd Duty Sergeant." Fe had not received any discharge when he had been mustered out on February 1, 1862, at St. Joseph. Soon after his enlistment, he had been detailed to en. Prentiss' Body Guard. For further proof of his service, he referred to lajor Berry's Battalion of Northwest Missouri. He further stated that his name 'ight be on the roll of Company D, for Cornapny C and Company D were neither The Adjutant General's Office sent a record of the service of James Sparks to the Commissioner of Pensions on June 26, 1873. There was no original enlistment or muster-in roll showing Sparks to have been enrolled or mustered in the service of the United States in Company C of Berry's Regiment or Battalion of Cavalry Missouri Volunteers attached to the "upper 13th Missouri." The muster roll of Company C of that regiment contained the following evidence of service. Sparks's name "was bourne as a Sergeant." It was stated that he had been enrolled on November 2, 1861, at St. Joseph for 3 years, date of muster-in not stated. Muster roil from November 1, 1861, to January 31, 1862, he was "present." Discharge to date from January 31. 1862, "per Special Order No. 185, Hd. Qr. Dept. of the Missouri P. G .O., Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, November 12, 1872. No evidence of disability December 1, 1861."
Invalid Certificate No. 126, 697 was issued to James S. Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roil. He died on May 24, 1885.
On July 6, 1885, Hattie C. Sparks, a resident of Alma, Kansas, and widow of James Sparks, applied for his accrued pension. She said that she had been married to him on November 25, 1862, at Hannibal, Missouri, under the name of Hattie C. Hale. He had died on May 24, 1885. Gus S. Amos and Charles H. Whitelaw witnessed her signature and stated that they had been present at the funeral of her husband.
On August 27, 1890, Hattie C. Sparks, aged 41, a resident of Canadian County, Oklahoma Territory, made Application No. 501,253 for a Widow's Pension for the military service of her husband, James S. Sparks. She stated that they had been married on November 25, 1862, by the Rev. Lightener at Hannibal, Missouri. One of their children, Pearl Sparks, born on March 9, 1883, was still under the age of 16 when she made her application. Mrs. Sparks appointed Copp and Luckett, Washington, D. C., as her attorneys. H. K. Rucker and
J. T. Godfrey witnessed her signature. Nothing was sent to us from the pension file of Hattie C. Sparks by the National Archives to reveal what action, if any, was taken on her application.
[Editor's Note: The family of James and Hattie (Hale) Sparks was listed on the 1880 census of Ray County, Missouri. His age was shown as 42 and Hattie's as 32. With them were children: Norah, 16, and George, 9. We know from Hattie's application that a son named Pearl was born in 1883. James S. Sparks was a son of William and Sarah (Barton) Sparks of Bourbon County, Kentucky. See page 4114 of the present issue of the Quarterly for information regarding James S. Sparks; ~ Whole No. 50, pp. 908-81, for an abstract of the bounty land and pension applications of Elizabeth (Barton) Sparks, mother of James S. Sparks, based on the service of James's father, William Sparks, in the War of 1812.]
JAMES HARRIS SPARKS, son of Stephen and Angeline (Abbott) Sparks, was born in 1844 in lonia County, Michigan; he died in 1926. He married Midella Hodley on July 4, 1867. He served in Company I, 3rd Regiment Michigan Infantry. File Designation: inv. Appl. No. 384,889
On June 14, 1880, James H. Sparks, aged 36, a resident of Keene Township, lonia County, Michigan, applied for an Invalid Pension. He stated that he had been enrolled on February 24, 1861, in Company I, commanded by Capt. Lowan,
t the 3rd Regiment Michigan Infantry. On May 8, 1861, while engaged with the riemy at Williamsburg, Virginia, his forefinger of his right hand had been shot ~f by a musketball. He had been treated by the regimental surgeon and sent ) the Patterson Park Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. From there, he had been ?nt to Philadelphia and then to the Clinton Street Barracks at Detroit, Michian. There, he had been given a verbal discharge by General Smith on the rounds that he was unfit for military service. He was then 5 feet, 10 inches ill; he had a dark complexion, dark hair and black eyes; and he was a farmer. e was now (1880) so disabled that he could not earn his living. He appointed eorge E. Lemon, Washington, D. C., as his attorney. Clark Hawley and Richard Reynolds witnessed his signature on his application.
In April 1882, Dr. William B. Thomas, an examining surgeon, stated that James parks had suffered a gunshot wound in his right forefinger which incapaciited him from earning his subsistence by manual labor.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on September 23, 1882. e had been enrolled on February 24, 1862, at Saranac, Michigan, in Company I, rd Regiment Michigan Infantry, to serve for three years. He had been reported s "deserted" at Williamsburg, Virginia, on May 7, 1862, and his name had been ropped from subsequent rolls. The 3rd Regiment of Michigan Infantry was in ~tion at Williamsburg, Virginia, on May 5, 1862; however, the regimental hospiil records were not on file.
Attorney Lemon requested the Commissioner of Pensions on September 2, 1885, to tell him the status of the claim of his client, James H. Sparks, and on October 1, 385, a memorandum was written as follows:
James H. Sparks, application No. 384,889, Tell Atty. Lemon that the AG reports client deserted at Williamsburg, Va., May 7, 1862, and never discharged. No further action can be taken until charge of desertion is removed. All correspondence to that end should be had with the Adjutant General, U. S. Army. Call on S. Genl. for Hosp. treatment and send client Atty. Fee Circular. October 1, 1885.
On October 29, 1887, the request for an invalid pension by James H. Sparks was tibmitted to a Board of Review. It was marked "Rejected" on November 26, 1887; ie claimant had failed to furnish the necessary proof to establish the claim.
In 25 Jan, 1898, James H. Sparks, now a resident of Coral, Michigan, wrote the Commissioner of Pensions as follows: "Will you please inform me whether there has been a pension granted to James H. Sparks of Co. 1, 3 Michigan volunteer Infantry, and oblige yours, etc. [signed] James H. Sparks."
On June 28, 1900, the Records and Pension Office of the War Department resonded to a request from the Commissioner of Pensions as follows:
James H. Sparks, also borne as James Sparks, Co. I, 3 Regt. Mich. Inf. Mil. records furnish the following information in addition to that contained in former report herewith. Born in lonia Co. Mich. age 18 years. Occupation, farmer. Blue eyes, dark hair & complexion. 5 ft. 10 in. high. The medical records show him treated as follows:
James Sparks, Pvt. Co. I, 3 Mich. May 10 to 21, 1862. Vulmus Slpoetioum [?] as Pr. Co. ---&*. June 1, 1862 to wounded. Nothing additional found. It is further shown by the records that he was received at Detroit, Michigan, August 11, 1862, disposition not shown. Nothing additional found. The date or mode of the termination of his service cannot be determined from the records on file. No application in the case is pending.
On the following day, June 29, 1900, the Commissioner of Pensions wrote the following letter to James H. Sparks:
In reply to your inquiry relative to your above cited claim for pension under the general law, you are advised that it was rejected December 8, 1887, on the grounds of your failure, after a reasonable time, to furnish the necessary proof to establish the same, and that you had never received a discharge.
This letter was sent to "James H. Sparks, Esq., Coral, Michigan." On July 24,1900, it was forwarded to Holton, Michigan. It remained unclaimed there until September 1, 1900, and it was finally returned to the Bureau of Pensions on September 4, 1900.
On January 17, 1906, R. P. Bishop, member of the House of Representatives, asked the Commissioner of Pensions what the status of the pension claim was for James H. Sparks of Shelby, Michigan. On January 20th, the Commissioner reiterated that the case had been rejected on November 12, 1887, on the grounds that the claimant had failed to furnish the evidence necessary to establish his claim.
No Invalid Certificate was issued to James H. Sparks.
[Editor's Note: James H. Sparks was a son of Stephen and Angeline (Abbott) Sparks; he was a grandson of Stephen and Mercy Sparks of Ionia County, Michigan. The elder Stephen Sparks (1780-1860), grandfather of James H. Sparks, was a son of Isaiah Sparks (1754-1794); Isaiah was a son of Joseph and Mehetabel (Johnson) Sparks. For further details about this branch of the Sparks family, see the September 1965 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 51, pp. 916-24. See also the issue for March 1969, Whole No. 65, pp. 1211-12; also the issue for March 1987, Whole No. 137, pp. 3024-27.]