Whole Number 192
[Editor's Note: From time to time, we have been publishing abstracts of pension 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 poor health and/or financial need resulting from their military service. Congress was increasingly generous in providing pensions for Civil War veterans and their widows as the years went by, and as their numbers became smaller. The organization known as the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a powerful lobby in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in obtaining benefits for its members and their families.
The papers comprising each applicant's file, including rejected applications, are preserved at the National Archives in Washington, D.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 that was compiled for us many years ago. Using a special form provided by the National 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 not more than ten sheets, that 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 photocopies of the papers in an individual's "non-selected file" as well, but this separate collection can cost as much as $50.00 (or more), 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 or his widow had difficulty proving his/her service, identity, or relationship, and when neighbors, former army comrades, or relatives were called up on for depositions.
(In the Quarterly of September 1967, Whole No.59, we began publishing abstracts of the "selected files" of Union soldiers named Sparks. We will continue to use these as space permits, adding editorial notes of any genealogical information that we may have regarding the soldier and his family.]
GODFREY JAMES SPARKS was born ca. 1828 in Ireland; he died April 11, 1886 in New York City. He served in Company H, 69th Regiment New York National Guard Artillery and in Company H, 182nd Regiment New York Volunteers. He married Alice Tuhomey on January 6, 1857. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 134; Wid. Cert. No. 305,539.
On January 13, 1875, James Sparks (the name under which he entered the service) age 47, a resident of Hartford, Connecticut, applied for an invalid pension. He stated that he had been enrolled on September 24, 1862, In New York City, in Company H, 69th Regiment National Guard Artillery (182nd Regiment, New York Volunteers), to serve for three years, and was discharged on July 19, 1865, at New York City. On June 16, 1864, while stationed at Petersburg, Virginia, he had received a shell wound to his head. He had been treated at City Point, Virginia. He was now troubled by this old injury and could not perform his usual manual labor. He appointed E. B. Jackson, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as his attorney to assist him in obtaining a pension. Thomas Trenor and Robert Goff witnessed his signature, and the declaration was sworn to before Francis Chambus, clerk of the Superior Court of Hartford County, Connecticut.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on May 18, 1875. He had been enrolled on September 24, 1862, in Company H, 182nd Regiment New York Volunteers to serve for three years, and he had been mustered into the service at Newport News, Virginia, on November 17, 1862. He had been wounded in action on June 16, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia, but he had returned to duty on July 7, 1864. He had been discharged on July 19, 1865.
On April 10, 1875, Patrick 0. Farrell, formerly Lieutenant of Company G, 69th New York National Guard, testified that Sparks had suffered a head wound in June 1864 at Petersburg, Virginia.
Invalid Certificate No. 134,673 was issued to James Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $4.00 per month.
Sparks applied for a pension increase on September 10, 1880, claiming that he was now nearly blind from the effects of the wound he had received on his head, and that he had been forced to abandon his trade as a plasterer. C. Benedict and Thomas Toomey witnessed his signature, and the statement was sworn to before Edward B. Bennett, Judge of the City Court of Hartford, Connecticut.
Godfrey James Sparks died April 11, 1886, in New York City. The certificate of death stated that he was 57 years of age and that he and his parents had been born in Ireland. He had lived in New York City for 55 years. His death was caused by an accidental fall down a stairway which caused a fracture of his humerus and also acute tonsillitus.
On August 4, 1886, Alice Sparks, age 51, a resident of New York City, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she was the widow of Godfrey James Sparks who had enlisted under the name of James Sparks in Company II, 182nd Regiment New York Volunteers. He had died April 11, 1886. They had been married on January 6, 1857, in St. Stephen's Catholic Church in New York City by the Rev. Father W. H. Clowrey. Her maiden name had been Alice Tuhomey. She appointed Joseph P. Kelly, New York City, as her attorney.
Mrs. Sparks's claim was rejected on the grounds that her husband's death had not been chargeable to his military service; then, on May 7, 1889, she appealed her case to the Secretary of the Department of Interior. In a lengthy decision, full of arguments as to whether the coroner's verdict of the cause of death was valid, the Department affirmed the rejection.
On August 8, 1890, Alice Sparks reapplied for a widow's pension under the 1890 Act of Congress. Her application was approved, and Widow Certificate No.305,539 was issued to her on August 31, 1891. She was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $8.00 per month.
Alice Sparks died March 14, 1915, and on April 24, 1915, her son, John G. Sparks, of Brooklyn, New York, requested the Commissioner of Pensions to let him have any unpaid money due his mother so that he could put up a modest stone at her grave, but whether or not it was sent to her son is not shown in the records in the pension file provided to us by the National Archives.
MARTIN V. B. SPARKS, son of Josiah C. and Hannah (Henry) Sparks, was born ca. 1840 in Gloucester County, New Jersey. He died December 13, 1870, in Mantua, New Jersey. He served in Company B, 12th Regiment, New Jersey Infantry. File Designation: Pen. Cert. 96,148.
Martin V. B. Sparks was discharged from Company B, 12th Regiment Volunteer New Jersey Volunteers, on June 28, 1865, at Washington, D.C. His discharge certificate was signed by Captain William L. Van Derlip. According to this document, he had been enrolled on August 22, 1861, at Woodbury, New Jersey, to serve for three years or during the war. Sparks had been born at Carpenters Landing, New Jersey; he was 20 years old when he entered service; was 5 feet, 5 inches in height; had a light complexion, blue eyes, and light hair; and he was a farmer.
On October 10, 1868, Sparks applied for an invalid pension, stating that he had been taken prisoner at Piedmont Station, Fauquier County, Virginia, and had been imprisoned at Belle Isle, Virginia, where he had remained from July 26, 1863, until December 29, 1863. During that time, he had contracted consumption which now rendered him incapable of doing any manual work. Since leaving the service, he had lived at Mantua, New Jersey. He appointed T. B. Scarborough of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as his attorney to aid him in obtaining a pension. Nimrod Woolery and William H. Turner witnessed his signature on his application.
On November 18, 1868, Benjamin F. Lee, late first lieutenant of Company B, 12th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, swore that when Sparks enlisted in 1861 he had been in good health and had remained so until he had been taken prisoner of war on the March from Gettysburg to Falling Waters. The company was making forced marches and Sparks had become affected by the excessive heat and gave out. He had been picked up by the enemy and taken to Bell Isle where he had contracted a disease. Lee went on to say that Sparks was a strictly temperate man, prompt to do his duty and that he had been a good soldier.
Dr. William H. Turner, Examining Surgeon, testified on December 1, 1868, that Sparks was suffering from phthisis or consumption as a result of his confinement in a rebel prison and was totally incapable of obtaining his subsistence by manual labor. The disability was not likely to get any better, he stated.
Pension Certificate No. 96,148 was issued to Martin V. B. Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $8.00 per month. He applied for in creased pension benefits on September 30, 1869, under the 1866 Act of Congress, stating that he was now wholly dependent upon his father for support. Joseph F. Tomlin and Merrill T. Park witnessed his signature on his application, which was rejected on 5 February 1870.
Sparks died a few months later, on December 13, 1870, and his sister, Mrs. Harriet Jardella, applied for whatever pension benefits she was due. On January 3, 1880, Josiah F. Sparks, age 30, and James F. Jardella, age 39, both residents of Philadelphia, made a joint affidavit to support her claim. They stated that "Josiah C. Sparks, father of Harriet Jardella and Martin V. B. Sparks, died at Mantua, New Jersey, on March 9, 1871. We also declare that Mrs. Hannah Sparks, mother of Harriet Jardella and the late Martin V. B. Sparks, late musician in the 12th Regt. N.J. Vols., died December 13, 1870, and that he was never married."
Nothing was included in the selected papers from this pension file at the National Archives to indicate what action, if any, was taken on the application of Mrs. Jardella.
[Editor's Note: When the 1850 census was taken of Gloucester County, New Jersey, Martin V. B. Sparks was 9 years old and living in the household of his parents in Woolwich Township. His father, Josiah C. Sparks, age 37, was a carriage maker. Josiah C. Sparks and Hannah Henry had been married in Gloucester County, New jersey, on Christmas Day, 1834.]
GEORGE W. SPARKS son of David and Catherine (Berry) Sparks, was born ca. 1842, probably in Clark County, Ohio. He married Alice Buzzell on September 9, 1886, in Lucas County, Ohio. He died December 17, 1910, in Erie County, Ohio. He served in Companies I and K of the 45th Regiment Ohio Infantry. File Designations: Inv.Cert. No. 68,542; Wid.Cert. No. 715,734.
On September 7, 1865, the Adjutant General of the State of Ohio issued a certificate which showed the military service of George W. Sparks. Sparks had been enrolled as a first lieutenant in Company I, 45th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry in November 1862 at Lexington, Kentucky, by order of the Governor of Ohio, and he was mustered into the service of the United States for a period of three years. The remark on the muster-out roll of that company stated: "Promoted from 2nd Lieut. to 1st Lieut, November 1862. Discharged August 17, 1864. Order not shown."
Two months later, on November 30, 1865, George W. Sparks, age 22 and a resident of Columbus, Ohio, made application for an invalid pension. He stated that he had enlisted on July 1, 1862, as a private in Company K, 45th Regiment Ohio Infantry, and had served until he was discharged on August 16, 1864. On May 14, 1864, during the Battle of Resaca, Georgia, and while serving as a 1st lieutenant in Company I, he had been shot through the calf of his right leg. As a result of the wound, he was now unable to stand on his feet for any period of time and to earn a living. He appointed Egbert Phelps of Columbus, Ohio, as his attorney to assist him in obtaining a pension. Jacob V. Conklin and David Sparks witnessed his signature; the declaration was sworn to before John M. Pugh, a Probate Judge of Franklin County, Ohio.
On July 25, 1866, the Bureau of Pensions issued Invalid Certificate No. 68,542 to George W. Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension rolls. He apparently applied for some modification of his pension benefits during 1889 and 1890, for on July 13, 1889, Dr. G. W. White made an affidavit about Sparks's physical condition. Dr. White stated that Sparks's right leg was smaller than his left leg and because of his increased weight (from 150 pounds to 250 pounds in the last five years) he found it difficult to walk or to stand on his feet because his right leg would give away and become quite painful. As a result, Sparks was "wholly disabled from manual labor."
A few months later, on May 26, 1890, Dr. D. T. Gwenn made a similar affidavit. He stated that he had found that "much exercise of Sparks' right limb produced great irritation, making it quite painful for him to move the same.
On December 2, 1892, now age 50 and still a resident of Columbus, Sparks made an affidavit in his own behalf. He stated that "in 1874 and 1875, 1 was employed by the B & 0. R. R. Co. as a yard clerk at Garrett City, Indiana, and while there was de tailed to weigh the government mail between Chicago Junction, Ohio, and Chicago, Illinois. . . On or about July 27, 1875, after dark, I was injured while stepping from the mail car to the platform by my wounded ankle turning and throwing me onto the track of the Lake Erie R. R. causing a hernia. I managed to make one more trip after this on my back in the mail car and then was compelled to take to my bed which I did not arise from for three weeks."
No records were sent from Sparks's pension file to indicate whether or not his application for increased benefits received favorable attention. He responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions on June 1, 1898. He stated that he had been married to Alice fluzzell on September 9, 1886, at Toledo, Ohio, by the Rev. R. M. Bacon, D.D. It was a first marriage for both. They had one child, a son, Gar S. Sparks, born on September 14, 1888.
When George W. Sparks died December 17, 1910, he was receiving a pension of $13.00 per month. He died in the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in Erie County, Ohio, five days after he entered that institution.
On December 30, 1910, his widow, Alice Sparks, age 49 and a resident of Columbus, Ohio, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she and George W. Sparks had been married in Lucas County, Ohio, on September 9, 1886. Neither had been previously married. She appointed William A. Taylor, Commissioner of Soldier's Claims of Ohio, as her attorney to assist her in obtaining a pension.
Two affidavits were made by men who identified themselves as brothers of George W. Sparks to support the application of his widow. On January 9, 1911, William H. Sparks, age 60, of 919 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, swore that his brother, George W. Sparks, and his brother's wife, Alice Sparks, had been married but once. and had lived together until his brother's death. A few days later, Edward S. Sparks, age 63, of 127 W. Goodale Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, made an identical affidavit.
Widow Certificate No. 715,734 was issued to Alice Sparks, but neither the record of the date nor the amount of the pension were included in the selected papers from this pension file at the National Archives.
[Editor's Note: George W. Sparks was a son of David and Catherine (Berry) Sparks, and he was a grandson of Thomas and Abigail (Shaw) Sparks. For further details about these families, see the March 1966 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No.53, pp.970-73, and for March 1973. Whole No. 81, p. 1540.
[There are three marriage records for David Sparks in Clark County, Ohio, as follows: David Sparks and Mary Marks, May 21, 1835 (Book 2, p.256); David Sparks and Catherine Berry, April 2, 1839 (Book 2, p.293); and David Sparks and Sarah J. Ralfsnyder, December 14, 1847 (Book 3, P.99). David Sparks was shown on the 1840 census of Clark County, Ohio, in the 20 to 30 age category, with a wife in the same age category, and a male under 5 years of age. When the 1850 census was taken, which was the first federal census to list all members of each household by name, age, and place of birth, David was shown in Springfield Township, Clark County. His age was given as 30 and his place of birth as Ohio. Sarah Sparks, his third wife, was shown as 23 and a native of Georgia. Three Sparks children were listed in David's household, all born in Ohio: Michael Sparks, age 10; George Sparks, age 8; and Edward Sparks, age 2. Also living in David's household in 1850 were Louisa Humor, age either 10 or 16; and Eliz. Balsebry, age 18. Both of the latter were also natives of Ohio.
[The son named George, shown as 8 in 1850, was. of course, the George W. Sparks whose pension for his Civil War service is described above. From the marriage dates of David Sparks, we can be sure that he was a son of the second wife, Catherine Berry. The two "brothers" of George W. Sparks who attested to his marriage with Alice Sparks, must have been half-brothers, sons of David's third wife and born after the 1850 census was taken.]
JOHN JEFFERSON SPARKS, son of John and Elizabeth (Harlan) Sparks, was born December 5, 1843, in Rush County, Indiana. On February 15, 1866, he married Emma E. Hale in Wabash County, Indiana. He died on Octo ber 27, 1912, in Huntington County, Indiana. He served in Company L, 11th Regiment Indiana Cavalry. File Designation: Inv.Cert. No.108,891; Wid.Cert. No.757,871.
On January 11, 1870, John Jefferson Sparks, age 26, a resident of Mount Etna, Huntington County, Indiana, applied for an invalid pension. He stated that he had enlisted on February 15, 1864, in Company L of the 126th Regiment of the 11th In- diana Cavalry, commanded by Capt. Hiram Lindsey, and had been discharged as a sergeant on September 19, 1865. While on a march from Louisville to Nashville on January 10, 1865, he had been mounted on a rough-riding horse, and this, together with the heavy accoutrements he was wearing, caused him to suffer a rupture in his right side. He stated that he had been afraid that he would be hospitalized and discharged from the service, so he concealed the injury; however, since leaving the service, the injury had prevented him from following his occupation as a farmer. He appointed Benjamin P. Williams as his attorney to help him obtain a pension. Thomas Rivearson and L. H. Goodwin witnessed the application which was sworn to before Jim M. Amoss, Clerk of the Huntington County Circuit Court.
A week later, on January 19, 1870, Hiram Lindsey, a resident of Wabash, Indiana, filled out an Officers's Certificate of Disability of Soldier. He certified that John Sparks had served as a sergeant in his cavalry unit, Company L, 11th Indiana Regiment, from the time he enlisted on February 15, 1864, at Indianapolis, until he was discharged with the company on September 19, 1865, at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He stated that "while on a march from Louisville to Nashville on January 10, 1865, he [Sparks] was mounted on a rough-riding horse and heavily accoutred with a sabre and carbine, haversack, canteen and clothing, and ammunition, the ammuni tion and sabre being strung on his belt, he was ruptured in the right side, [but] owing to his fear of being sent to the hospital & discharged, he did not report to the medical staff for treatment, but continued doing such light duty as he was able." Lindsay also stated that the injury had rendered Sparks unfit for manual labor.
The Bureau of Pensions issued Invalid Certificate No. 108,891 to John Sparks, and he was placed on the pension rolls.
On March 6, 1907, John Jefferson Sparks, now age 63 and a resident of RFD, La Fontaine, Indiana, applied for increased pension benefits under the 1907 Act of Congress. He stated that at the time of his enlistment he had been 6 feet, 3 inches in height; he had grey eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion. He had been born on December 5, 1843, in Rush County, Indiana. Jake Charles and Ross Hains witnessed the application.
John Jefferson Sparks died October 27, 1912, in Huntington County, Indiana, and on November 9th his widow, Emma E. Sparks, age 71, made application for a widow's pension. She stated that she had been married to John Sparks on February 15, 1866, in Wabash County, Indiana, under the name of Emma E. Hale. It was the first marriage for both. On November 12, 1912, Ellis Bloomer, Clerk of the Wabash County Circuit Court, sent a copy of the marriage record to the Bureau of Pensions and also certified that the couple had never been divorced, nor had either of them married a second time.
On March 17, 1913, Dr. Charles W. Fry, Huntington County Health Commissioner, sent a copy of the certification of death of John Jefferson Sparks to the Bureau of Pensions. The certificate stated that Sparks had been born on December 5, 1843, in Rush County, Indiana, to the Rev. John and Elizabeth (Harlan) Sparks, both natives of North Carolina. Sparks had died October 27, 1912, of Pulmonary tuberculosis, and had been buried at La Fontaine, Indiana.
The Bureau of Pensions issued Widow's Certificate No. 757,871 for Emma E. Sparks and she was placed on the pension rolls. When she died March 28, 1915, she was receiving a pension of $12.00 per month.
MILES G. SPARKS, probable son of John S. Sparks, was born ca. 1839 in Gloucester County, New Jersey. He died May 6, 1874, at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He married Lucy E. B. Munyin on July 11, 1866, at Bridgeport, New Jersey. He served in Company 1, 10th Regiment New Jersey Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 74,470; Wid. Appl. No. 557,025.
Miles G. Sparks, First Sergeant of Company I, 10th Regiment New Jersey Infantry, was given a Certificate of Disability for Discharge from the Army of the United States on February 6, 1866, at DeCamp General Hospital, Davids Island, New York. According to the certificate, he had been born in Gloucester County, New Jersey, and was 22 years of age at the time of his enlistment on September 30, 1861. He had been 5 feet, 4 1/2 inches tall; he had a light complexion, grey eyes and dark hair, and he had been a farmer. He had received a gunshot wound in his right leg at the siege of Petersburg, Virginia, on April 2, 1865, which had resulted in amputation.
On September 20, 1866, Sparks, now age 26, and a resident of Penns Grove, New Jersey, applied for an invalid pension under the 1866 Act of Congress. He stated that he had enlisted on September 30, 1861, as a corporal in Company I, commanded by Captain William H. Franklin, of the 10th Regiment New Jersey Vol unteer Infantry. On April 2, 1865, he had received a gunshot wound in his right leg while engaged with the enemy at Petersburg, Virginia. His leg had been amputated just below the knee on April 13, 1865, at the U.S. Hospital in Washington, D.C. He had remained there until July 1, 1865, when he had been sent to Douglass U.S. Hospital, Washington, D.C., where he stayed until about two months, and was then sent to the U.S. Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. On October 15, 1865, he had been sent to the DeCamp U.S. Hospital, Davids Island, New York, where he had been discharged on February 2, 1866. He appointed Gerry L. Taylor, Trenton, New Jersey, as his attorney to aid him in obtaining a pension.
Invalid Certificate No. 74,470 was issued to Miles G. Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll.
On July 20, 1892, Lucy E. Sparks, age 53, a resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, applied for a widow's pension under the 1890 Act of Congress. She stated that her husband, Miles G. Sparks, was in Company 1, 10th Regiment New Jersey Infantry from February 25, 1864, until February 6, 1866. He had died May 6, 1874, leaving her without any means of support. She had been married to Sparks on July 11, 1866, at Bridgeport, New Jersey, under her maiden name of Lucy E. Munyin. It had been the first marriage for both of them. She stated that she had made an application for a widow's pension earlier, but she did not remember the number. She appointed R. M. Marvin of Manchester, Iowa, as her attorney. Angeline Fawcett and G. P. Kuhn witnessed her signature.
Although the War Department confirmed Sparks's military service and his disability as stated in the application, the Bureau of Pensions did not authorize a pension for his widow, and the claim apparently bogged down for some reason.
On July 6, 1904, Lucy E. B. Sparks, now a resident of San Jose, California, again made a statement requesting a widow's pension. She stated that she had no real estate nor investments and had no source of income except her daily labor. Her late husband had left $1,000 of life insurance for the benefit of her and their three children. For the past twelve years, she had lived in San Jose with her daughter. She was now too old and infirm to earn her living and she was being cared for by her daughter who was a poor person herself.
Josiah E. and Mary Ann Batten, age 85 and 73 respectively, and residents of Wymore, Nebraska, made an affidavit on July 11, 1904, that they had known Miles G. and Lucy E. G. Sparks for a long time, that neither of them had been married prior to July 11, 1866, and that they had never been divorced. A few days later, N. C. and Mary Newby, age 54 and 47, respectively, residents of San Jose, California, made a similar statement, adding that Mrs. Sparks was now destitute.
On December 19, 1904, D. D. Tennyson, Claim Agent at San Jose, California, wrote to the Oswego County Court in New York to ask if there were a record of the marriage of Miles G. Sparks to Lucy E. B. Munyin in that office. They had been married on July 11, 1864, by the Rev. A. Mattheus. The Oswego County clerk replied that there were no marnge records kept in that office at that time.
On January 6, 1905, Lucy Sparks, age 66 years, made an affidavit that there was no official record of her marriage to Miles G. Sparks. She presented a certificate prepared by A. Matthews, a minister of the Gospel, in which he certified that he had performed the marriage between Miles G. Sparks of Bridgeport, New Jersey, and Lucy E.B. Munyin, of Penns Grove, New Jersey, on July 11, 1866.
On April 26, 1905, Edwin A. Buttolph, age 64, a resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, made an affidavit to support the claim of Mrs. Sparks. He stated that he was well acquainted with Miles G. Sparks and knew that he had been injured while coupling cars in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on May 4, 1874, and that he died from the injury two days later and had been buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, near the Soldier's Plot, so-called. Buttolph said that he had been largely instrumental in procuring a soldier's marker for Sparks's grave several years earlier. He had done this because their acquaintance had grown out of the fact that they both had served in the War of the Rebellion.
The last document (in chronological order) from the pension file of Miles G. Sparks is an affidavit made by his widow, Lucy Sparks, on May 6, 1914. She was now 76 years of age. She stated that about three years after the death of her husband, Miles Sparks, she had been married to a man by the name of John Wilson, from whom she was divorced and allowed by the Court to resume her former name of Sparks. She had re-married because she had been destiture and unable to care for her children; He, John Wilson, had promised to make a good home for her and take care of her children; instead, he had abused her children and so she had obtained a divorce.
Mrs. Sparks continued by stating that her first husband, Miles G. Sparks, had been a poor man and had worked for a railroad company as a laborer; that he had no property except the $1,000 he left at his death. She had several small children when he died, and the insurance money was soon gone. From that day until the present, her oldest daughter had provided for her as best she could.
No Widow's Certificate was ever issued to Lucy Sparks.
[Editor's Note: Miles G. Sparks was probably a son of John S. Sparks who appeared on the 1830, 1840, and 1850 censuses of Salem County, New Jersey. John had been born ca. 1791 in New Jersey and had died there about 1863. Living in his house hold as shown on the 1850 census of Upper Penns Neck Township of Salem County, were Beulah Armstrong, age 33, and Miles Sparks, age 11. John Sparks had served in the War of 1812, and his application for bounty land based on that service was reported in the Quarterly of September 1961, Whole No.35, pp.580-SI. A query on page 3243 of the Quarterly of June 1988, Whole No.142, p.3243, pertains to a Henry Sparks (1791-1883) who appears to have been a brother of John. In that query, John's son, Miles Sparks, was mistakenly called Niles Sparks. Although Lucy Sparks stated that she and Miles had been the parents of three children, she did not give their names in any of the documents included in the "selected papers" provided by the National Archives from her pension file.]
STEPHEN THORN SPARKS, son of Jesse and Jemima (Thorn) Sparks, was born March 28, 1837, in Indiana. He served in Company A, 26th Regiment Indiana Infantry. He died January 12, 1864, in an Army hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Stephen T. Sparks was enrolled on July 2, 1861, at Rochester, Indiana, by M. L. Miner to serve for three years or until the end of the war. He was mustered into Company A, 26th Regiment Indiana Infantry on August 30, 1861, at Indianapolis, Indiana, by Colonel Wood. At that time, he was 24 years of age; he was 5 feet 6 inches tall; he had a dark complexion, grey eyes, and dark hair. He was a farmer.
Sparks participated in action at Prairie Grove, Arkansas, in December 1862, and was at Vicksburg, Mississippi, from June 13 to July 3, 1863. From September 1863 until January 1864, he was sick in a convalescent camp at Carrollton, Louisiana. He died at the 13th Army Corps Hospital at New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 12, 1864, because of chronic diarrhea.
[Editor's Note: Although the above information was sent by the National Archives in a request for a pension file, nothing was included to suggest that a wife or parent applied for a pension based on this service. A record of the branch of the Sparks family to which Stephen Thorn Sparks belonged appeared in the Quarterly of September 1969, Whole No.67, pp.1248-55. A photograph of Stephen in his Civil War uniform appears on page 1253.]