October 20, 2017

Pages 4174-4178
Whole Number 163

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



[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 papers involved. The papers which have been thought to be of greatest genealogical interested are included in the "selected" series. For a more detafled description of these records, the reader is referred to page 3730 of the March 1991 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 153.]

JOHN HARVEY SPARKS, son of Harmon N. and Malinda (Peak) Sparks, was born May 16, 1842, in Jefferson County, Kentucky. He married Emily C. Pound on September 12, 1866, in Jefferson County. He served in Company A, 9th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry. He died on September 3, 1891. File Designations: mv. Cert. No. 686,726; Wid. Cert. No. 338,425.

On December 22, 1888, Harvey Sparks, aged 47, of Mt. Washington, Kentucky, applied for an Invalid Pension, stating that he had been enrolled in August 1862 in Company A, 9th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry, commanded by Capt. Harvey, and had served until he had been discharged in September 1863 at Louisville, Ken tucky. He was 5 feet, 54 inches tall; he had a dark complexion, black hair and blue eyes; and he was a blacksmith. On or about 1 April 1863, he had had an attack of rheumatism which had stayed with him and had gradually gotten worse, so that he was now unable to earn his support. He appointed Wm. W. Dudley, Washington, D.C., as his attorney. W. H. Ellaby and Wesley Drake witnessed his signature.

On March 16, 1889, Sparks amended his application by giving the names of the doctors who had treated him for his disabflities. They were: Dr. M. H. Hobbs, Mt. Washington, Kentucky; Dr. Pound, Wilsonville, Kentucky; Dr. C. A. Collings, Spencer County, Kentucky; and Dr. J. W. Turner, Mt. Washington, Kentucky. Sparks went on to state that he had done little or no work since the spring of 1886.

The War Department confirmed the military service of Harvey Sparks on March 29, 1889. He had been enrolled on August 10, 1862, at Louisville, Kentucky, in Com pany A, 9th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry to serve for one year, and he had been mustered out with his company on August 31, 1863, at Eminence, Kentucky.

Two neighbors of Harvey Sparks testified in support of his application in August 1890. Wm. S. Hobbs and James W. Markwell, both of Mt. Washington, Kentucky, stated that most of the time Sparks was unable to work because of rheumatism.

John Harvey Sparks died on September 3, 1891, and on October 1, 1891, his widow, Emily C. Sparks, aged 47, a resident of Mallot, Jefferson County, Ken tucky, made application for a widow's pension. She stated that her late husband had enlisted on August 10, 1862, at Eminence, Kentucky, under the name of Harvey Sparks in Company A, 9th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry and was discharged on September 11, 1863. She and Sparks had been married on September 12, 1866, in Jefferson County, Kentucky, by the Rev. Wm. P. Barnett. It was the first marriage for both. They had no children under the age of 16 years in 1891. She appointed Mrs. R. Bryant Maynard, Louisville, Kentucky, as her attorney.

On the same day, Dr. J. W. Turner made an affidavit that he had attended John Harvey Sparks during his last illness and that Sparks had died in his (Sparks's) home in Bullitt County, Kentucky, on September 3, 1891. He said that Mrs. Sparks had no property, and that her whole support came from the labor of her children.

On December 1, 1891, George W. Webb, Jefferson County [Kentucky] Clerk, sent a copy of the marriage record of Harvey Sparks and Emily Pound to the Bureau of Pensions. They had been married on September 12, 1866, in the pre sence of W. B. Hopewell and Preston Wheeler.

The Commissioner of Pensions issued Widow Certificate No. 338,425 to Emily C. Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $8.00 per month. When she died on July 1, 1911, she was receiving a pension of $12.00 per month.

[Editor's Note: See page 4167 of the present issue of the Quarterly for a biographical sketch of John Harvey Sparks with an indication of his Sparks ancestry.]

DAVID CARSON SPARKS, son of Absalom and Margaret (Allen) Sparks, was born March 12, 1835, in Blount County, Ten nessee. He died on March 19, 1918. He was married to Araminta Angeline Wilson on March 24, 1870. He served in Company D, 5th Regiment Tennessee Infantry. File Designation: mv. Cert. No. 373,149.

On August 17, 1880, David C. Sparks, aged 45, a resident of Paint Lick, Roane County, Tennessee, made application for an invalid pension. He stated that he had served in Company D, 5th Regiment Tennessee Infantry, commanded by J. D. Turner, from February 26, 1862, until March 31, 1865. At the time of his enlistment, he had been 5 feet, 10 inches tall; he had a dark complexion, black eyes and black hair; and he had been a farmer. On December 20, 1862, while crossing the railroad bridge at Green River, Kentucky, he had been forced to jump from the bridge to avoid being run over by a train. The jump had caused a severe injury to his right foot, which had never completely healed; it prevented him from performing his duties as county surveyor and sheriffing. He appointed J. M. Sturges, Kingston, Tennessee, as his attorney, and Henry Nicely and John D. Pope witnessed his signature.

The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service. He had been mustered into Company D, 5th Regiment Tennessee Infantry on June 11, 1862, as a 2nd lieutenant, and he had been present until he was promoted to the rank of captain on March 4, 1863. He continued to serve as captain until he had been mustered out with his company on March 30, 1865.

The Bureau of Pensions apparently required further proof of Sparks's injury, for in 1886 he wrote that his injury had been treated by Dr. George W. McMillen, Dr. J. C. Everett, and Dr. A. T. Lee while he had been in the service, but he could not furnish their testimony for they were all dead. James E. Rose, age 39, a resident of Morris Gap, Tennessee, also made an affidavit to support Sparks's claim. Rose stated that he had been a private in Sparks's company when Sparks had been injured in his right foot on December 20, 1862. Thereafter, Sparks had been so badly crippled in that foot that he had limped much of the time, and at times was unable to go at all. After he returned from service, Rose said that he saw Sparks on an average of every three weeks and had noticed that Sparks continued to have trouble in walking because of the old injury.

Sparks was issued a pension under Invalid Certificate No. 373,149, but nothing was included in the file provided by the National Archives to show the date of issuance or the amount of the pension. On May 10, 1898, and again on April 2, 1915, he responded to questionnaires from the Bureau of Pensions. He stated that he had been born in Blount County, Tennessee, on March 12, 1835. On March 24, 1870, he had been married to Arminta Angeline Wilson in Roane County, Tennessee, by the Rev. D. Janeway of Sweetwater, Tennessee. It had been the first marriage for both. His wife died on December 4, 1909, and he had not remarried. Nine children were born to the marriage. He listed them as follows:

John M. Sparks, born January 2, 1871.
Samuel F. Sparks, born July 31, 1873; died May 25, 1878.
James R. Sparks, born May 16, 1875.
Robert C. Sparks, born January 9, 1877; died August 31, 1877.
Samuel R. Sparks, born May 27, 1879.
David C. Sparks, born March 28, 1881.
Malinda A. Sparks, born August 30, 1882; died September 4, 1882.
Benjamin M. Sparks, born April 5, 1884; died October 23, 1885.
Mary Kate Sparks, born November 1886.

In the summer of 1900, Sparks claimed additional disability caused by a sunstroke while in the service, and he submitted affidavits to support this claim. On September tember 3, 1900, James E. Rose, now age 53, again testified on behalf of his former commanding officer. He said that in June 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, while making a flanking movement, Capt. Sparks fell at the head of the company, and 1st Lieut. Thomas C. Cooper took command of the company. Rose said the company was told that the cause of Sparks's illness was a sunstroke, and that Sparks was hospitalized in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Rose's testimony was supported by an affidavit from Thomas C. Cooper, age 68, a resident of St. John, Stafford County, Kansas, made on October 22, 1900. Cooper stated that Sparks had suddently taken ill while leading Company D, 5th Tennessee around Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, and that he (Cooper) took command and ordered Private Reuben Parks to take Sparks to Dr. A. T. Lee, now dead, the regimental surgeon, who pronounced Sparks's illness as sunstroke and had sent him to the Altoona Field Hospital. When Sparks rejoined the company at Marietta, Georgia, in October 1864, he had still been weak and not fit for field duty, and when the company was discharged in March 1865, he was still in poor health.

On May 30, 1903, Sparks made another general affidavit about his illness. He stated that in June 1864 he had been leading his company around the mountain on quick time, and that he had become very hot and had a severe headache. He stated: "The next thing I knew I was in a hospital. I can recollect asking the surgeon in charge where I was and what I was there for. He stated to me that you had sunstroke and was brought in here two days ago. I recollect that the surgeons name was Sparks. I was conscious from that time on. I was sent from there to the General Hospital at Knoxville, Tennessee, where I was treated until October 1864 when I returned to my command at Marietta, Ga., and was in command all the time until discharged."

When David C. Sparks died on March 19, 1918, he was receiving a pension of $30.00 per month.

[Editor's Note: A biographical sketch of David Carson Sparks appeared in the Quarterly of June 1978, Whole No. 102, pp. 2016-17. He was one of seven identified children of Absalom and Margaret (Allen) Sparks. Absalom Sparks was born ca.1801 in South Carolina and died ca.1851 in either Tennessee or Texas. See pp. 2015-18 of above issue for further information regarding this branch of the Sparks family.]

JAMES WILLIAM SPARKS, son of Eli and Sarah ( ) Sparks, was born ca. 1837 in Wayne County, Indiana. He married Elizabeth Cummins on February 28, 1858, in Green County, Wisconsin. He served in the 5th Battery Wisconsin Light Artillery and died in the service on 1 April 1863. File Designation: Wid. Cert. No. 15,422.

On May 15, 1863, Elizabeth Sparks, aged 22, a resident of Cadiz, Green County, Wisconsin, made a Widow's Declaration of Pension statement under the 1862 Act of Congress. She stated that her husband, James William Sparks, a private in the 5th Battery Wisconsin Light Artillery, commanded by Capt. 0. F. Pinney, had died on 1 April 1863, while at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She and Sparks had been married on February 28, 1858, in Green County, Wisconsin. She appointed Gardner & West of Monroe, Wisconsin, as her attorneys. Eli Sparks [her father-in-law] and Isaac Michael witnessed her signature, and the statement was sworn to before Brooks Dinwiddie, Judge of Green County Court.

On the same day, William W. Wright, Deputy Register of Green County, Wisconsin, sent a copy of the marriage record of James W. Sparks and Elizabeth Cummins to the Commissioner of Pensions. The couple had been married on February 28, 1858, at Cadiz, Wisconsin, by Francis Caughey. J.P. The bride was a daughter of John and Lucy M. Cummins. Witnesses had been Eli Sparks and H. Loomis.

The Adjutant General's Office sent a record of the military service of James W Sparks to the Commissioner of Pensions on September 30, 1863. He had enlisted in the 5th Battery Wisconsin Light Artillery on September 5, 1861, at Monroe, Wisconsin, to serve for three years. He had been present for duty un til the March-April 1863 Muster Roll when he was reported as having "Died of disease in hospital, Murfreesboro, Tenn. 1 April 1863."

On February 13, 1864, Elizabeth Sparks made an affidavit that she and James W. Sparks had no children. Her signature was witnessed by Eli Sparks and Emily Sparks. [Eli Sparks was her father-in-law; Emily Sparks was Eli's second wife.] Widow Certificate No. 15,422 was issued to Elizabeth Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $8.00 per month.

The last document (in chronological order) among the National Archives' "selected" documents from this file is a memorandum from the Bureau of Pensions to its Records Division; this was concerned with the widow of James W. Sparks who held Certificate No. 15,422. The memorandum was received in the Records Division on June 3, 1910, and bore the following notation: "No name given." Perhaps this was meant as an indication that the widow of James William Sparks had died.

[Editor's Note: It seems apparent from census records, that James William Sparks was the only son of Eli Sparks. After the death of his son, Eli Sparks enlisted in the Union Army, himself, in Company M, 4th Regiment Wisconsin Cavalry, on February 23, 1864, at Janesville, Wisconsin, perhaps to avenge his son's death. Eli Sparks, as shown in the pension application which follows, also died in the service, on April 18, 1865, at Greenville, Louisiana. His widow, Emily (Bracklin) Sparks, who was his second wife, applied for a widow's pension and was placed on the pension roll on October 24, 1865, at the rate of $8.00 per month. See also the editor's note following the abstract of Emily's application below.]

ELI SPARKS, according to census records, was born somewhere in Ohio about 1817. He was married twice, first to Sarah LNU about 1836, probably in Ohio; he married (second) Emily Bracklin on September 8, 1841, in Wayne County, Indiana. He served in Company M, 4th Regiment Wisconsin Cavalry and died while in the service on April 18, 1865. File Designation: Wid. Cert. No. 58,105.

On June 17, 1865, Emily Sparks, aged 50 years, a resident of Green County, Wisconsin, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she was the widow of Eli Sparks who had served in Company M, 45h Regiment Wisconsin Cavalry and had died while in the service at Greenville, Louisiana, on April 18, 1865. She had been married to Sparks under her maiden name of Emily Bracklin at Center ville, Wayne County, Indiana, on September 8, 1841. They had no children. She appointed E. F. Garauer of Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin, as her attorney. Her signature was witnessed by Elisha Russell and Andress Tree, and the application was sworn to before Wm. W. Wright, Clerk of the Green County Circuit Court.

On August 11, 1865, the Adjutant General confirmed the military service of Eli Sparks. He had enlisted on February 23, 1864, at Janesville, Wisconsin, in Company M, 4th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, for a period of three years and had served until his death on April 18, 1865. He died in the U.S.A. General Hospital, Greenville, Louisiana, of chronic diarrhea.

On October 24, 1865, the Bureau of Pensions issued Widow Certificate No. 58,105 to Emily Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $8.00 per month.

[Editor's Note: When the 1850 census was taken of the town of Cadiz in Green County, Wisconsin, the only Sparks family listed was that of Eli Sparks; he was 33 years of age, a native of Ohio, and a miller by occupation. Living with him was 36-year-old Emily Sparks, a native of Maine, whom we know to have been Eli's second wife. She and Eli had been married in Wayne County, Indiana, on September 8, 1841. Eli Sparks's first wife had been named Sarah ; from census records, it appears that she and Eli had only one child, James William Sparks. James was shown as 12 years old on the 1850 census; also living in the Eli Sparks household in 1850 was Isaac Williams, age 25, a native of Maryland, no occupation shown. Eli Sparks had appeared on the 1840 census of Centre Township, Wayne County, Indiana, with his wife and son.]

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