Whole Number 166
[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 veterans, or their widows (sometimes their parents and their children), received pensions from the U.S. government based on their military service. Congress was increasingly generous in providing pensions for Civil War veterans and their widows as the years went by and their numbers became smaller. The organization known as the GAR was a powerful lobby in the late 18th and early 19 centuries in obtaining benefits for its members.
[The papers comprising each applicant's file, including rejected applications, are preserved at the National Archives in Washington, B.C., and many of them contain fascinating information, not only about the nature of the individual's military service, but about his family as well.
[We have an index of all of the pension files for persons named Sparks which was compiled for us many years ago. Using a special form provided by the Archives, and for a fee of $10.00, one can request copies 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 selected 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 the papers in an individual's "non-selected file" as well, but this separate file can cost from $10.00 to $40.00, depending upon its size. In most instances, the papers in the "non-selected files" are of a rather routine nature, but sometimes they can be quite helpful, especially where the veteran had difficulty proving what his service had been.
[Dr. Paul E. Sparks, President of our Association, has obtained many of the "selected files" and has abstracted them for publication in the Quarterly, beginning with the September 1967 issue. Whole No. 59. We shall continue to use these as space permits, adding in editorial notes any genealogical information that we may have regarding the soldier and his family.
[It should be remembered when reading these abstracts, that Dr. Sparks has usually been limited to the items contained in the "selected papers" for the soldier under consideration. Anyone wishing us to obtain copies of all the papers in a given file, both "selected" and "non-selected," may request the editor to do this for the cost involved. It usually requires at least three months to obtain the copies, and, as noted, the cost can vary.]
22.214.171.124 JOHN WILLIAM SPARKS, son of 11.3.6 Thomas and Luanna (McDaniel) Sparks, was born June 11, 1838, in Sangamon County, Illinois. He married Sarah J. (Curry) Myers in that county on September 7, 1869. He died on July 13, 1900. He served in company D, 2nd Regiment Kansas Cavalry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 806,336; Wid. Cert. No. 526,754.
On July 11, 1889, John W. Sparks, aged 51, a resident of Leon, Kansas, applied for an invalid pension. He stated that he had enlisted on December 10, 1861, at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, as a private in Company D, 2nd Regiment Kansas Cavalry, commanded by John A. Lee, and had served until he had been discharged on February 2, 1865, at Ft. Smith, Arkansas. He was 5 feet, 9? inches tall; he had a dark complexion, fair hair and grey eyes; and he was a farmer. Sometime during November 1863, he contracted chronic rheumatism from exposure. This was followed by a case of pleura pneumonia in January 1864 for which he had been treated in the Ft. Smith General Hospital. Afterwards, he had been taken prisoner and imprisoned at Tyler, Texas, during July 1864 where he contracted chronic diarrhea. These diseases had so disabled him that he was no longer capable of earning his subsistence by manual labor.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on February 12, 1880. He had been enrolled on December 10, 1861, in Company D, 2nd Regiment Kansas Cavalry and had served until he had been mustered out of the service on February 21, 1865. Medical records showed that he had been wounded in the thigh and that he had been treated for abcess July 19-21, 1863. He had contracted pleura pneumonia on December 9, 1863, and had been treated until January 17, 1864. He suffered from diarrhea and had been treated during the period December 16-27, 1864.
On October 13, 1890, John N. McDaniel, aged 42, a resident of Dawson, Illinois, made an affidavit to support the claim of John W. Sparks. He said that he was well acquainted with Sparks and saw him frequently after he returned from the service since Sparks's farm adjoined the McDaniel farm near Mechanicsburg, Illinois. He said Sparks suffered from chronic rheumatism and a diseased heart and was unable to perform the work of a farmer.
Invalid Certificate No. 806,336 was issued to John W. Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $6.00 per month.
On May 4, 1898, Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He said that he had been married to Sarah J. Curry in 1889, near Springfield, Illinois, by Richard Bird. It was his first marriage. Four children were born to the marriage:
126.96.36.199.1 Mary C. Sparks, 27;
188.8.131.52.2 Sarah Margaret Sparks, 25;
184.108.40.206.3 Bertie Olive Sparks, 22; and
220.127.116.11.4 Theresa Sparks, 16.
John W. Sparks died on July 13, 1900, at Ringwood, Oklahoma, and on August 17, 1900, his widow, Sarah J. Sparks, aged 60, a resident of Springfield, Illinois, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she and Sparks had been married on September 7, 1869, at Dawson, Illinois, by Richard Bird, M.G. She appointed Joseph S. Thompson, Springfield, Illinois, as her attorney. G. Warren Tayler and Ethel M. Myers witnessed her signature.
On August 13, 1900, Mary L. Shankland, aged 60, and John H. Shankland, aged 70, both residents of Dawson, Illinois, made affidavits to support Sarah J. Sparks's claim. They said that they had known her since 1865 when she was the wife of David C. Myers, and they had lived next door. They told of Myers's death and of Sarah's subsequent marriage to John W. Sparks, after which the Sparkses had moved to Kansas and to Oklahoma. They said that they had known John W. Sparks since they attended the same public school and the same church as young people. They knew he had been married only one time and that was to Sarah J. Myers.
Sarah J. Sparks made an affidavit on March 4, 1901, in which she told of the disposition of $2,000 she had received from an insurance policy on the life of her husband, John W. Sparks. The policy was carried on the life of her husband by his membership in the A.O.U.W. of Leon, Butler County, Kansas, and was payable to his children and to her. She said that she had taken $100 and then had divided the remaining $1,900 equally between the children of her and John W. Sparks, namely, Mary C. Boyle, married; Margaret Shannon, married; Bertie Wilson, married; and Theresa Sparks, single. Mrs. Sparks said that she and her daughter, Theresa, lived in a house in Springfield which was owned by her son of a former marriage, Lorin F. Myers, who paid the taxes, insurance, and maintenance.
On the same day, Mrs. Sparks also explained why her husband had lived in Oklahoma and she lived in Illinois. She said that about 1894 her husband went to Oklahoma where he filed on 160 acres of land in Woods County using a soldier's pre-emption. He had sold 80 acres of the land to John Y. Boyle, husband of their oldest daughter, who had built a house on it. Her husband lived on the other 80 acres in a small house, or dugout. He would return to his home in Illinois periodically and stay a while, but would then return to Oklahoma to keep his land pre-emption active. She did not accompany him to Oklahoma because they had a young daughter whom they were trying to educate and who would be deprived of that education if she were taken to Oklahoma.
Mrs. Sparks's explanation was corroborated by John Y. Boyle on June 1, 1901. Boyle, aged 35, a resident of Ringwood, Oklahoma, said that he lived next door to his father-in-law, John W. Sparks, and was with him at the time of his death. Sparks had made a will in which he appointed Doctor E. Frazier, Ringwood, Oklahoma, as his administrator. The 80-acre farm of John W. Sparks was sold for $400, and his personal property was sold for $150 in order to satisfy the final funeral expenses.
On July 8, 1901, Charles E. Opel, clerk of Sangamon County, Illinois, sent the Bureau of Pensions a copy of the marriage record of John W. Sparks and Sarah J. Myers. They had been married on September 7, 1869.
Widow Certificate No. 526,754 was issued to Sarah J. Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll. When she died on March 31, 1923, she was receiving a pension of $30 per month.
[Editor's Note: See pp. 4294-95 of this issue of the Quarterly for a biographical sketch of John W. Sparks, with a listing of his children.]
JOHN R. SPARKS (18.104.22.168), son of William A. and Mary Jo (Delaney) Sparks, was born July 31, 1834, near Paris, Missouri; he died on November 23, 1894. He married Mary Moore. He served in Company F, 12th Regiment Illinois Cavalry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 877039.
On November 12, 1891, John R. Sparks, aged 57 (born July 31, 1834), and a resident of Granville, Missouri, appeared before James M. Crutcher, a notary public of Monroe County and applied for an Invalid Pension. He swore that he had enlisted on January 1, 1862, as a private in Company F, commanded by Capt. E. M. Gilmore, of the 12th Regiment Illinois Cavalry. He had served until he was honorably discharged at Chicago, Illinois, on October 23, 1862, by reason of a Surgeon's Certificate of Epilepsy. He was now suffering from a rupture; had lost the sight in his left eye; and was suffering from heart disease; and he was unable to do much labor. He appointed George E. Lemon, Washington, D.C., as his attorney. F. E. Pitts and Jesse Lewis witnessed his signature.
John R. Sparks apparently sent his Certificate of Disability to the Bureau of Pensions along with his application, because a copy of this was included among the "selected papers" from his pension file sent to us by the National Archives. It was worded as follows:
John R. Sparks, Private of Lieut. Henley L. Reams's Co. (F), of the 12th Regt. 111. Cav. of U.S. Volunteers, was enlisted by E. M. Gilmore, Capt., at Camp Butler on the 1st day of January 1862 to serve for three years. He was born in Paris, Missouri. He was 22 years of age; 5 ft. 9 in high; had light complexion, grey eyes and light hair; and his occupation when enlisted was farming. During the last two months, said soldier has been unfit for duty 60 days.
[signed] H. L. Reams, Commanding Detacht.
[John Higgins, Surgeon 12th Illinois Cav. wrote] I certify that I have carefully examined the said John R. Sparks of Capt. Gilmore's Co. and find him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of epilepsy and was so affected when enlisted.
[signed] John Higgins, Surgeon 12th 111. Cav.
[To all of the above was added] Discharged this 23rd day of October 1862 at Chicago, Illinois.
[signed] D. M. Tyier [?] Bg. Genl. The soldier desires to be addressed: Springfield, Sangamon Co. 111.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on March 14, 1892. He had been enrolled on January 1, 1862, as a private in Company A, 12th Illinois Cavalry and was discharged by a Surgeon's Certificate of Disability on October 23, 1862, as a member of Company F, to which he had been transferred.
During 1892 and 1893, John Sparks made three undated affidavits to support his request for an invalid pension. As abstracted, here are pertinent portions:
(1) He could not give the date of his rupture, but believed it was shortly after the surrender of Martinsburg, Virginia.
(2) His eyes were nearly blind at Martinsburg because he had contracted the blindness from comrades who were contagious in August 1862.
(3) He could see fairly well with his right eye on the 14th and 15th of September , 1862, during the 3-day battle at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
(4) He had requested the Board of Surgeons at Camp Douglas to give him an examination for sore eyes, heart disease, bronchitus, and rupture before he was discharged, but was denied the examination since the epilepsy was sufficient cause for discharge.
(5) He had objected to a discharge for epilepsy and believed Dr. Higgins denied him the examination for spite.
(6) He was unable to find any comrades to support his request because they were either dead or their post offices were unknown. In addition, he was not well acquainted with other members of his company because he was a refugee from Missouri in September 1861 and had enlisted among entire strangers.
On September 29, 1893, the Bureau of Pensions requested the Records and Pension Office to send a full military and medical history of John R. Sparks. It was received on October 8, 1893, and was exactly as shown in paragraph 3, above. To this report was added: "Private Sparks was present for duty except as follows: August 18, 1862, (Spcl.) detailed on special duty at Camp Wool, Martinsburg, Va. by order of Col. A. Voss. October 31, 1862 [sic] Pris. of War on parole at Chicago, Illinois. Medical records show him as John R. Sparks, Priv. Co. F, 12th 111. Cav. discharged from service at Camp Douglas, 111., October 23, 1862, cause not shown. Nothing additional found."
Dr. D. W. McGee, Granville, Missouri, made an undated affidavit (apparently in 1893) to support Sparks's claim. He stated that he had practiced medicine for eleven years and had known John R. Sparks since April 1875. He had first treated Sparks professionally in September 1884 for dysentery and again in 1890 for malaria. He had given Sparks a thorough examination and found that he had a very bad case of inguinal hernia of the right side and had had a great deal of trouble with it. Sparks had lost the sight of his left eye in the army. He had been given a discharge because of epilepsy and had continued to have seizures quite frequently.
Dr. McGee wrote: "Sparks is badly afflicted as this certificate will show and I should judge he is at least 3/4 incapacitated from manual labor which would entitle him to $22.50 per month. He had never prosecuted his claim or he would today be drawing a full pension."
On January 2, 1894, Jesse Lewis, aged 60, and Thomas B. Gannaway, aged 49, both residents of Paris, Missouri, made a joint affidavit to support the claim of John Sparks. They stated that they had known Sparks for 35 years and that they knew his disabilities were not caused by any vicious habits. A similar (but undated) affidavit was made by John T. Parker, aged 63, and DeWilton Kipper, aged 44, both residents of Granville, Missouri.
On October 22, 1894, the Bureau of Pensions approved Sparks's request for an Invalid Pension. His disability was a right inguinal hernia. Invalid Certificate No. 877,039 was issued to him, and he was placed on the pension roll at the rate of $6.00 per month, commencing on December 18, 1891.
The last document (in chronological order) among the "selected papers" from the pension file of John R. Sparks provided by the National Archives was a letter dated February 4, 1898, from the pension agent at Topeka, Kansas, to H. Clay Evans, Commissioner of Pensions. It reported that the name of John R. Sparks, Certificate No. 877,039, who had been last paid at $6/mo. to November 4, 1894, had been dropped because of "Failure to Claim for 3 Years."
[Editor's Note: We now know that just a month after his request for a pension was approved, John R. Sparks died, on November 25, 1894, at the age of sixty years. For additional information regarding John R. Sparks and his family, see pages 4296-4297 of the present issue of the Quarterly.]
CHARLES F. SPARKS, son of Isaac and Martha (Ballenger) Sparks, was born in 1829 or 1830. He died on March 25, 1897. We married (first) Jane Bryant on January 26,1850, in Logan County, Ohio, and (second) to S. Ellen --- at Newcastle, Indiana. He served in Company D, 136th Regiment Ohio Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 740,735; Wid. Cert. No. 492,006.
On 5 February 1891, Charles F. Sparks, aged 61, a resident of Piqua, Miami County, Ohio, applied for an invalid pension. He stated that he had enlisted on May 2, 1864, in Capt. David S. Norveil's Company, which was Company D of the 136th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and had served until August 31, 1864, when he had been discharged at Camp Chase, Ohio. He was now (1891) suffering from chronic dysentery, inflamed eyes, and heart disease brought on by his military service. He appointed A. C. Buchanan of Piqua, Ohio, as his attorney. Benj. Lawyer and Noah Harvey witnessed his signature.
The Bureau of Pensions issued Invalid Certificate No. 740,735 to Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll. He died on March 25, 1897.
On March 29, 1897, S. Ellen Sparks, aged 57 years, a resident of Piqua, Ohio, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she had been married to Charles F. Sparks on April 16, 1868, at Newcastle, Indiana, by the Rev. C. V. Mikles. They had no children under the age of sixteen. She had been previously married, but her husband had died before her marriage to Sparks. Sparks, too, had been married previously, but he and his first wife had been divorced. She appointed A. C. Buchanan, Piqua, Ohio, as her attorney. Minnie McMillan and Linnie McCrason witnessed her signature.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on May 27, 1897. He had served as a private in Company D, 136th Regiment Ohio National Guards from May 2, 1864, to August 31, 1864. On June 2, 1864, he had suffered from inflammation of the lungs, but had been returned to duty. From July 12 to August 19, 1864, he had smallpox, but, again, had been returned to duty.
The Bureau of Pensions issued Widow Certificate No. 492,006 to S. Ellen Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll. When she died on or about December 4, 1906, she was receiving a pension of $8.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: The reader is referred to page 4083 of the March 1993 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 161, where Charles F. Sparks is identified as a son of Isaac and Martha (Ballenger) Sparks. When that article was prepared, however, we did not realize that he was the same Charles F. Sparks as the subject of the Civil War pension application abstracted above. Two brothers of Charles F. Sparks also received pensions based on their military service in the Civil War. They were: Henry Sparks, born December 23, 1825, and Isaac J. Sparks, born September 29, 1837. (An abstract of the pension file for Henry Sparks appeared on pp. 4092-4093 of the March 1993 issue of the Quarterly, while that for Isaac J. Sparks appeared on pp. 4093-4094.)
[When the 1850 census was taken in Zane Township, Logan County, Charles F. Sparks, age 21, was shown living with his wife, Jane Sparks (age 20) quite near Isaac and Martha (Ballenger) Sparks, as well as near Henry Sparks. When the 1870 census was taken of Liberty Township, Union County, Ohio, Charles F. Sparks was shown, with his first wife, Jane, and seven children. His age was then 43; Jane's was 45. His occupation was given as "Works in Harness Shop."
[As seen in the abstract of the pension application of S. Ellen Sparks, the second wife of Charles F. Sparks, Charles had been divorced from his first wife, Jane (Bryant) Sparks. Jane Sparks was still living in Liberty Township in Union County, Ohio, when the 1880 census was taken. Shown as 50 years old and identified on that census in the "Widowed/Divorced" category, she had only her youngest child, a son named Fay Sparks, 11 years old, then living with her.
[The children of Charles F. and Jane (Bryant) Sparks had been given on the 1870 census of Liberty Township, Union County, as follows:
1. Justice Sparks, born ca. 1852.
2. Harriett Sparks, born ca. 1853.
3. French Sparks (male) born ca. 1855. (He was living in the household of Stephen Cranston, Jr. in Liberty Township, Union County, in 1880, where he was called a "Laborer."
4. Delelie Sparks (female), was born ca. 1859.
5. Worthington Sparks was born ca. 1864. (He may have been the Charles W. Sparks, age 19, living in the household of William Crowder in Liberty Township, Union County, when the 1880 census was taken.)
6. George Sparks, born ca. 1866. (He was living in the household of Stephen Cranston, Sr. in Liberty Township, Union County, in 1880.)
7. Fay Sparks (male) was born, apparently, in 1868. (He was living with his mother when the 1880 census was taken. He appears to have been born in the same year that Charles F. Sparks married his second wife.)
[Charles F. Sparks and his second wife, E. Ellen Sparks, were shown on the 1880 census of Miami County, Ohio. From the fact that two children, Amelia Grow, born ca.1868, and Mary Grow, born ca.1870, were living in their household and were identified by the census taker as step-daughters of Charles F. Sparks, it is logical to assume that Grow had been the surname of the first husband of S. Ellen. Also listed in the household of Charles F. and S. Ellen Sparks on the 1880 census were three Sparks children (all females):
1. Frances Sparks, born ca.1871.
2. Jessie Sparks, born ca.1874.
3. Jennie Sparks, born ca.1879.
[Additional children may have been born to this couple after 1880.]
WILLIAM L. [LEROY] SPARKS was born December 6, 1831, in Polk County, Tennessee. He married (first) Elizabeth Shook, and (second) to Elizabeth Elwood. He died on June 8, 1900. He served in Company D, 50th Regiment Illinois Infantry. File Designations:
Inv. Cert. No. 66,731; Wid. Cert. No. 508,180.
William L. Sparks received a Certificate of Disability for Discharge on May 22, 1862, near Corinth, Mississippi. He was a private in Captain T. W. Gaines's Company D, 50th Regiment Illinois Infantry; he had been enrolled at Quincy, Illinois, on August 20, 1861, to serve for three years. He had been born in Tennessee and was 30 years of age. He was 6 feet, I? inches tall; he had a pale complexion, hazel eyes, and dark hair; and he was a farmer. Capt. William K. Haselwood, company commander, stated that for nearly two months. Sparks had been fit for duty only about ten days. Assistant Surgeon J. M. Horton certified that Sparks had enlarged external hemorrhoids which rendered him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier. The discharge certificate was signed by Brigadier General P. M. Schofield.
On November 27, 1863, Sparks presented a claim for an Invalid Pension. He was a resident of Fairweather, Illinois. He stated that during October 1861, while stationed near Chillicothe, Missouri, he had been attacked by a severe case of the piles, along with a liver complaint, which had rendered him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier, and he had been discharged. He was still confined to his home for weeks at a time by the severe pain, and was now unable to earn his living. He appointed Leroy Carpenter of Quincy, Illinois, as his attorney. Noah Pate and Abraham Ogle witnessed the claim, which was sworn to before Alexander Johnson, clerk of the Adams County [Illinois] Court.
On March 26, 1866, Thomas W. Gaines, late Captain of Company D, 50th Regiment Illinois Infantry, completed an Officer's Certificate of Disability of Soldier. He certified that William L. Sparks had been a member of his company from August 20, 1861, until he had been discharged for disability on April 21, 1862. Gaines wrote the following:
He [Sparks] was with his Company and Regiment at Chillicothe, Missouri, about the 15th of November 1861, and having just returned from a scout on Grand Pines by reason of exposure and hardship while on said scout ... contracted chronic diarrhea & cold which rendered him incapable to do duty. The said soldier soon thereafter became affected with piles ... so as to be unable to do any duty and about the 30th day of November 1861, he was sent ... to Hospital No. 1, Quincy, Illinois where he was treated until sometime in February 1862 when he ... joined his company at Clarksville, Tenn ... He remained with the regiment until about the 8th day of April 1862 when he again became so badly affected with said diarrhea & piles as to render him wholly unable to do any duty and he was sent to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was discharged... That the said William L. Sparks was a sound able-bodied man when he enlisted in said service...
Invalid Certificate No. 66,731 was issued to Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll.
On April 24, 1898, Sparks answered a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He stated that his wife's maiden name had been Elizabeth Elwood. They had been married on July 30, 1855, at Hannibal, Missouri. Prior to this marriage, he had been married to Elizabeth Shook who had died at Athens, McMinn County, Tennessee. He had six living children:
James W. Sparks, born January 14, 1858. Ann Sparks, born August 30, 1859. John Sparks, born in March 1868. Bell Sparks, born February 4, 1871. Nelly Sparks, born June 20, 1879. Franklin Sparks, born April 16, 1883.
On October 4, 1899, the War Department confirmed Sparks's service for the Bureau of Pensions. He had been enrolled in Company D, 50th Regiment Illinois Infantry on August 19, 1861, and had been discharged on April 21, 1862. He had been hospitalized from January 23 to February 22, 1862, because of hemorrhoids, but he had been returned to duty. From April 2 to April 21, 1862, he had been hospitalized for "prolapsus ani" and was discharged on April 21, 1862, for external hemorrhoids.
William L. Sparks died on June 8, 1900, at Fairweather, Illinois, at the age of 68 years, 6 months, and 2 days. The certificate of death stated that he had been born in Polk County, Tennessee. He had lived in Illinois for 45 years.
On June 29, 1900, Elizabeth Sparks, aged 62 years, a resident of Richfield, Illinois, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she had been married to William L. Sparks on July 30, 1855, at Hannibal, Missouri, by John L. Lacy, recorder. She had been married under her maiden name of Elizabeth Elwood. It had been her first marriage, but her husband had been previously married; his first wife was deceased. She appointed Geo. W. Chrysups, of Barry, Illinois, as her attorney. Mary Kendall and George W. Nations witnessed her make her mark.
On July 31, 1900, Mrs. Sparks made an affidavit to support her claim. She said there was no one legally bound for her support. She owned a 114-acre farm on which there was a mortgage of $675 with an annual interest charge of 7 percent.
The taxes on the farm for the past year amounted to $16.28. She had no income and must depend upon her own labor for her support. Fannie Kendall and George W. Nations witnessed her make her mark.
On the same day, George W. Nations, aged 36, and Thomas D. McVay, aged 51, both residents of Fairweather, Illinois, made an affidavit to support Mrs. Sparks's claim. They stated that they were well acquainted with the farm of Elizabeth Sparks. It consisted of 114 acres of very poor, thin land on which there was a mortgage of $675. The rental value of the farm would not pay the taxes and interest payments. They further testified that Elizabeth Sparks was dependent upon her daily labor for her support.
Widow Certificate No. 508,180 was issued to Elizabeth Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll. When she died on December 11, 1914, she was receiving a pension of $12.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: William Leroy Sparks was undoubtedly a son of William and Lucinda Sparks, natives of North Carolina, who were listed on the 1850 census of McMinn County, Tennessee, which was published on page 1748 of the June 1975 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 90. On that census, William L. Sparks was listed with the given name Leroy. With him was his wife, Elizabeth, aged 20, and their 3-months-old daughter, Lucinda. When this couple had been married on March 12, 1849, in McMinn County, his name was recorded as Roy Sparks and her name as Elizabeth Shook. On the 1850 census of McMinn County, they were numbered as Family 1913. Family 1914 was that of William Sparks, aged 50;
included in his household was his wife, Lucinda, aged 40; and sons named Israel, aged 18, and Washington, aged 14. When the 1880 census was taken of Adams County, Illinois, Israel Sparks was shown as head of Family 212, while W. James Sparks (the "W" undoubtedly standing for Washington) headed Family 216. With W. James Sparks was his mother, Loucinda Sparks, aged 78 years.]
EDGAR C. SPARKS, son of James S. and Martha (Peterson) Sparks, was born ca. 1841 in Ohio and died May 12, 1884, in Michigan. On November 19, 1865, he married Amanda J. Clingaman in Fulton County, Ohio. He served in Company K, 65th New York Volunteers and Company H-12, 2nd Battalion V.R.C. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 288,726; Wid. Cert. No. 641,595; Minor Cert. No. 342,145.
On or about April 4, 1881, Edgar C. Sparks, aged 39, a resident of Republic, Ohio, applied for an invalid pension. He stated that he had enlisted on August 15, 1861, in Company K, 65th Regiment New York Volunteers and had served until he was discharged at Washington, D.C., on August 19, 1864. While stationed at Falmouth, Virginia, during January 1863, he had been stricken with a severe fever which caused great stiffness in his limbs and from which he had been unable to recover. He had been treated by the regimental surgeon and also at Harwood Hospital, Washington, D.C. He appointed Milo B. Stevens & Co. as his attorneys. George R. Hemingway and L. N. Lease witnessed his signature.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on March 2, 1883. He had been enrolled on July 15, 1861, at Sandusky, Ohio, in Company K, 65th Regiment New York Volunteers to serve for three years. He had been reported as "absent sick" in the General Hospital on August 31, 1863. He had been transferred to the 12th Company, 2nd Battalion, V. C. R,, on October 10, 1863, and was mustered out with his company on August 19, 1864, at Washington, D.C.
George Longstreet, a resident of Ingham County, Michigan, made an affidavit on June 17, 1883, to support Sparks's request for an invalid pension. He said that he had been well acquainted with Sparks during the years 1864, 1865, and 1866, and that after Sparks left the army, he had been so badly crippled by rheumatism that he could do no work. He had also been badly swollen in his back and stomach and complained of suffering intense pain. He was also unable to eat ordinary food, but was forced to live on a restricted diet. Sarah A. Longstreet offered the same testimony on June 23, 1883, to support Sparks's claim. [Although not identified in their testimony, Sarah A. Longstreet was Sparks's sister, and George Longstreet was her husband; they had been married in Seneca County, Ohio, in I860.]
Invalid Certificate No. 288,726 was issued to Edgar Sparks, and he was placed on the pension roll. He died on May 12, 1884, at Alien, Michigan.
On May 20, 1886, Amanda J. Sparks, aged 45, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she and Edgar C. Sparks had been married on November 19, 1865, at Springhill, Fulton County, Ohio. She had been married under her maiden name of Amanda J. Clingaman. They were married by David Ayers, a justice of the peace. Neither she nor her husband had been married previously. Her husband had died on May 12, 1884, and had left her with one child under the age of sixteen years, namely, James W. Sparks, born November 27, 1882. She appointed the Commissioner of Pensions as her attorney. Anson F. Brown and C. H. Grey witnessed her signature, and the declaration was sworn to before F. H. Roethlisberger, a notary public.
Amanda J. Sparks married (second) Phillip Fox just three months after making her application for a pension, and apparently this stopped the processing of her application.
On August 1, 1890, "Mrs. E. C. Sparks Fox," [sic] aged 50, a resident of Alien, Hillsdale County, Michigan, applied for a pension for the son of Edgar C. Sparks. She stated that she was the legal guardian of James W. Sparks since his father was dead. She and Edgar Sparks had been married on November 19, 1865, and had lived together as man and wife until his death on May 12, 1884. Sparks had left one child, James W. Sparks, who had been born November 27, 1882. N. A. Jackson and Philip Fox witnessed her signature.
On December 18, 1891, Mary S. McConnell, aged 65, and Alice R. McConnell, aged 25, both residents of Alien, Michigan, made a joint affidavit to support Mrs. Fox's claim. They swore that they had been present when James W. Sparks was born to Edgar C. and Amanda J. Sparks on November 27, 1882. Sparks had died on May 12, 1884, but had left no other minor children. Mrs. Fox had no income for support, and her only property was a house and lot worth about $350.00.
Minor Certificate No. 342,145 was issued for James W. Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll.
Mrs. Amanda J. Fox reapplied for a widow's pension sometime after 1891, but nothing was included in the "selected papers" from this file at the National Archives to substantiate this statement. Perhaps she applied for a widow's pension for military service performed by her second husband, Philip Fox, rather than through the service of her first husband, Edgar C. Sparks. Whatever the manner by which she obtained the pension, she was issued Widow Certificate No. 641,595, and she was placed upon the pension roll. When she died at Jackson, Michigan, on March 27, 1923, she was receiving a pension of $30.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: Three brothers of Edgar C. Sparks also served in the Union Army in the Civil War. They were John G. Sparks, born ca. 1828; James P. Sparks, born August 14, 1839; and George W. Sparks, born March 21, 1843. All three later applied for pensions based on their military service, and abstracts of their applications and related documents at the National Archives were published in the September 1983 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 123, pp. 2554-2558.
[The parents of Edgar C. Sparks and his three brothers were James S. and Martha (Peterson) Sparks. (We had not learned the maiden name of Martha when the September 1983 issue of the Quarterly was published.) A descendant of Edgar's brother, John P. Sparks, Pamela Lucas, 1619-G Spartan Village, East Lansing, Michigan 48823, in a letter dated September 1, 1990, stated that she had found proof that James S. Sparks had been married to Martha Peterson; she had been born ca. 1804 in the Salem/Gloucester Counties area of New Jersey; she was a daughter of Matson Peterson, a Revolutionary War veteran. (Matson Peterson applied for a pension based on his Revolutionary War service, stating that he had been born May 21, 1765, in Gloucester County, New Jersey, and that he had enlisted there in the New Jersey Line. He added that at the end of the war, he had moved to Salem, New Jersey, then to Fairfield County, Ohio, then to Seneca County, New York, where he was living when he applied for a pension on October 6, 1832. He signed this application as "Matson Peterson, Sr.")
[James S. Sparks, father of Edgar C. Sparks, was a physician according to the entry for him and his family on the 1850 census of Seneca County, New York. (For this census record, see the Quarterly of December 1977, Whole No. 100, pp. 1956-7.) Edgar C. Sparks was shown as nine years of age on this 1850 census. According to a newspaper called the Tiffin, Ohio, Tribune being publisted in 1869, James S. Sparks, father of Edgar, died in Seneca County, Ohio, on October 31, 1869.
[The family of Edgar C. and Amanda J. (Clingaman) Sparks was listed on the 1870 census of Kent County, Michigan. According to this census, Edgar had been born ca. 1841 in Ohio as had also Amanda. With them in 1870 were the following children: Alice Sparks, aged 4; Louisa Sparks, aged 2; and Benton Sparks, born in February 1870.]