Sparks family papers

Finding aid prepared by Olga Tsapina
Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Fax: (626) 449-5720
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
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The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Sparks family papers
Dates: 1856-1897
Dates: bulk 1861-1864
Collection Number: mssHM 60739-60822
Creator OR Collector: Sparks (Family)
Extent: 84 pieces
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2203
Fax: (626) 449-5720
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: Correspondence and documents of the Sparks and Reed families.
Language of Material: The records are in English.

Administration Information

Access

Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please go to following web site  .

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Sparks family papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Butterfield & Butterfield, May 1999.

Biographical Note

The Sparks family of Bell County, Texas, was founded by William C. Sparks, a native of Mississippi. Having obtained a grant of land from the Mexican government, he settled in Robertson county and moved to Bell County in the early 1850s. He married Jane Alexander (d. 1867), a native of Arkansas. They had six children: Clara Jane (who married Volney Cavitt and lived in Wheelock, Robertson County), John, Elijah (private of Co. I of the 17th Texas Infantry, who died of pneumonia in camp in Dec. 1862), William C. (private of Co. E of 2nd Texas), Minerva (wife of Michael Reed), and Samuel A. (who ended the Civil War with the rank of the Lieutenant, and later was a farmer in Wilkinson Valley and sheriff of the Bell County).
Michael R. Reed, son of John R. Reed and husband of Minerva Sparks, joined the 17th Regiment of the Texas Infantry in June 1862, together with his brothers, Henry and Edmund, and his brother-in-law, Elijah. The regiment, part of Walker's Texas Division, McCulloch's Brigade, took part in the Red River Campaign. In Dec. 1862, Michael Reed was a male nurse at a hospital in Austin, Arkansas. In June-July 1863, he was sent to a convalescent camp four miles north of Monroe, Louisiana. In Dec. 1863 he went home on furlough. In March, when he returned to camp, he was arrested and was about to be court-martialed. He died of wounds in July, 1864 near Alexandria, La.
William Sparks, brother of Minerva Sparks Reed, joined the 2nd Texas Infantry, nicknamed "2nd Texas Sharpshooters." The regiment, one of the best drilled regiments in the Confederate Army, took part in the battle of Shiloh, Farmington, occupation of Juka, siege of Corinth, and siege of Vicksburg. It surrendered with the remainder of the Vicksburg garrison on July 4, 1863. After the surrender of Vicksburg, William Sparks made it back to Texas. The regiment was reorganized at Houston in the fall 1863, and served on the coast of Texas to the end of the war.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically. It is housed in two boxes.

Scope and Content

Letters from Michael R. Reed, William Sparks, and Clara Jane Cavitt to Minerva Sparks Reed; also documents relating to the Sparks family.
Michael Reed's letters describe the regiment's march through Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, the minutia of camp life, and encounters with Union prisoners. He at length discusses conscription, substitutes, and desertions, and duly reported war news, often rather distorted (thus he reported rumors of a complete Confederate victory at Gettysburg and Vicksburg).
William Sparks' letters were written during the siege of Vicksburg and blockade of Galveston. They contain information about camp life, diseases, (especially the outbreak of yellow fever), conscripts, Methodist preaching in Galveston, war news, and discussion of Confederate politics.
The letters of Clara Jane Cavitt and other papers of the Sparks family document life in Texas in 1850-1860s, including charity and war efforts, reaction to the conscript law of April 1862, and discussion of war news.
Typewritten transcripts are available.

Indexing Terms

Personal Names

Cavitt, Clara Jane Sparks
Reed, Michael R.
Reed, Minerva Sparks
Sparks (Family)
Sparks, William C.

Corporate Names

Confederate States of America. Army -- Military life -- Sources
Confederate States of America. Army. Texas Infantry Regiment, 2nd
Confederate States of America. Army. Texas Infantry Regiment, 17th

Subjects

Red River Expedition, 1864 -- Personal narratives, Confederate
Shiloh, Battle of, Tenn., 1862 -- Personal narratives, Confederate
Soldiers -- Southern States -- Correspondence

Geographic Areas

Galveston (Tex.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
Texas -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Regimental histories -- Sources
Texas -- Social life and customs -- 19th century -- Sources
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives, Confederate.
Vicksburg (Miss.) -- History -- Siege, 1863 -- Personal narratives, Confederate

Genre

Family papers -- Texas -- 19th century
Letters (correspondence) -- Confederate States of America


Container List

Box 1

1856-1863, July (HM 60767-60787)

 

 HM 60739  McLean, Charles D. Letter to William C. Sparks (1856, Mar. 19)

Jackson, Tenn.
 

 HM 60740  Reed, Edmund T. Letter to Michael R. Reed (1857, Mar. 21)

Fayette Co., Tex.
 

 HM 60741  Alexander, John. Letter to "Dear son and family" (1858, Mar. 29)

Ark.
 

 HM 60742  Bill (1858, Apr. 16)

Tex.
 

 HM 60743  Cavitt, Clara Jane Sparks. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1858, Apr. 23)

Wheelock, Tex.
 

 HM 60744  Cavitt, Clara Jane Sparks. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1858, Dec. 5)

Wheelock, Tex. Fragile.
 

 HM 60745  Texas. Bell County. Court. Order banning Jane Sparks, John Sparks, and Michael R. Reed from trespassing on the land of William C. Sparks (1859, Sep. 21)

Bell County, Tex.
 

 HM 60746  Texas. Bell County. Court. Petition for injunction for Jane Sparks (1859, Sep. 22)

Bell County, Tex.
 

 HM 60747  Cavitt, Volney. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed [1859?]

Wheelock, Tex.
 

 HM 60748  Jalonic & Smith. Letter to William Letter to William C. Sparks (1860, Jan. 10)

Belton, Tex.
 

 HM 60749  Jalonic & Smith. Letter to Michael R. Reed (1860, Feb. 14)

Belton, Tex.
 

 HM 60750  Cavitt, Clara Jane Sparks. Letter to Elijah Sparks (1862, May 11)

Robertson County, Tex.
 

 HM 60751  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1862, June 10)

Travis County, Tex.
 

 HM 60752  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1862, June 18)

Travis County, Tex.
 

 HM 60753  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1862, July 3)

Travis County, Tex.
 

 HM 60754  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1862, Sep. 16)

Tyler, Smith County, Tex.
 

 HM 60755  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1862, Sep. 22)

Tyler, Smith County, Tex.
 

 HM 60756  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1862, Oct. 9)

Washington, Ark.
 

 HM 60757  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1862, Oct. 23)

Little Rock, Ark.
 

 HM 60758  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1862, Nov. 3)

Little Rock, Ark.
 

 HM 60759  Reed, Minerva Sparks. Letter to Michael R. Reed (1862, Nov. 9)

Little River, Bell County, Tex.
 

 HM 60760  Reed, Michael R. Letter to John M. Reed (1862, Dec. 2)

Austin, Ark.
 

 HM 60761  Sparks, William C. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1862, Dec.9 )

Grenada, Miss. Following the above: Minerva Sparks Reed letter (1862, Dec.) to Michael R. Reed.
 

 HM 60762  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1862, Dec. 14)

Austin, Ark. Following the above: E. J. Reed letter to (1862, Dec. 15) "...Melinda, Jim, & Mary."
 

 HM 60763  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1862, Dec. 20)

Austin, Ark.
 

 HM 60764  Sparks, William C. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1862, Dec. 25)

Grenada, Miss.
 

 HM 60765  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1862, Dec. 28)

Prairie County, Ark.
 

 HM 60766  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Jan. 7)

Ark.
 

 HM 60767  Sparks, William C. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Jan. 21)

Vicksburg, Miss.
 

 HM 60768  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Jan. 23)

Pine Bluff, Ark.
 

 HM 60769  Reed, Michael R. Letter to John R. Reed (1863, Jan. 27)

Pine Bluff, Ark.
 

 HM 60770  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Sarah Atlas Sparks (1863, Jan. 30)

Pine Bluff, Ark.
 

 HM 60771  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Feb. 12)

Pine Bluff, Ark.
 

 HM 60772  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Mar. 1)

Pine Bluff, Ark.
 

 HM 60773  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Mar. 8)

Pine Bluff, Ark.
 

 HM 60774  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Mar. 20)

Pine Bluff, Ark.
 

 HM 60775  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Apr. 3)

Pine Bluff, Ark. Fragile.
 

 HM 60776  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Apr. 11)

Pine Bluff, Ark.
 

 HM 60777  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Apr. 18)

Pine Bluff, Ark.
 

 HM 60778  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Apr. 27)

Pine Bluff, Ark.
 

 HM 60779  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, May 13)

 

 HM 60780  Cavitt, Clara Jane Sparks. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, May 25)

Robertson County, Tex.
 

 HM 60781  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, May 25)

 

 HM 60782  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, June 2)

Tensas River, La.
 

 HM 60783  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, July 1)

Monroe, La. With envelope.
 

 HM 60784  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, July 5)

Monroe, La.
 

 HM 60785  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, July 10)

Monroe, La.
 

 HM 60786  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, July 18)

Monroe, La.
 

 HM 60787  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, July 28)

Black Lake, La.
Box 2

1863, August-1897 (HM 60788-60822)

 

 HM 60788  Reed, Michael R. Letter to John R. Reed (1863, Aug. 24)

"Camp Texas," La.
 

 HM 60789  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Aug. 27)

"Camp Texas," La.
 

 HM 60790  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Sep. 5)

Alexandria, La.
 

 HM 60791  Cavitt, Clara Jane Sparks. Letter to Jane Alexander Sparks (1863, Sep. 9)

Wheelock, Tex. Incomplete.
 

 HM 60792  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Sep. 18)

Alexandria, La. Fragile.
 

 HM 60793  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Sep. 23)

Alexandria, La.
 

 HM 60794  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Sep. 30)

Alexandria, La.
 

 HM 60795  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Oct. 8)

Alexandria, La.
 

 HM 60796  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Oct. 13)

Alexandria, La.
 

 HM 60797  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed [1863, Oct. 19]

 

 HM 60798  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Oct. 20)

Alexandria, La.
 

 HM 60799  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Nov. 5)

Alexandria, La.
 

 HM 60800  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Nov. 12)

Alexandria, La.
 

 HM 60801  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Dec. 3)

Alexandria, La.
 

 HM 60802  Sparks, William C. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Dec. 12)

Velasco, Tex.
 

 HM 60803  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1863, Dec. 15)

Alexandria, La.
 

 HM 60804  Sparks, William C. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1864, Jan. 25)

 

 HM 60805  Sparks, John D. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1864, Feb. 15)

New Braunfels, Tex.
 

 HM 60806  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1864, Mar. 11)

"Widow Norwood Plantation," La.
 

 HM 60807  Sparks, William C. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1864, Mar. 14)

Camp Sidney, Tex.
 

 HM 60808  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1864, Mar. 24)

Grand Ecore, La. Fragile.
 

 HM 60809  Reed, Michael R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1864, Apr. 7)

Mansfield, La. Letter may be dated 1863, Apr. 7. Following the above: Thomas R. Berry letter (1864, Apr. 7) to "My Dear Bettie."
 

 HM 60810  Sparks, William C. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1864, Apr. 14)

Galveston, Tex.
 

 HM 60811  Sparks, William C. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1864, May 5)

Mud Island, Tex.
 

 HM 60812  Berry, Thomas R. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1864, July 4)

Alexandria, La.
 

 HM 60813  Sparks, William C. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1864, Sep. 15)

Galveston, Tex. Fragile.
 

 HM 60814  Sparks, William C. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1864, Sep. 30)

Galveston, Tex.
 

 HM 60815  Sparks, William C. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1864, Oct. 26)

Greens Bayou, Galveston Island, Tex. With envelope.
 

 HM 60816  Sparks, William C. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1864, Nov. 4)

Greens Bayou, Galveston Island, Tex. Fragile.
 

 HM 60817  Sparks, William C. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1865, Jan. 4)

Galveston, Tex.
 

 HM 60818  Hanover, Clara E. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1872, Dec. 17)

Wheelock, Tex.
 

 HM 60819  Cavitt, Volney. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1874, Mar. 23)

Wheelock, Tex.
 

 HM 60820  McPherson, T. F. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1874, Sep. 23)

Halville, Harrison County, Tex.
 

 HM 60821  Sparks, Samuel A. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1885, Jan. 30)

Wilkinson Valley, Tex.
 

 HM 60822  Cavitt, Clara Jane Sparks. Letter to Minerva Sparks Reed (1897, Mar. 22)

Robertson County, Tex.
Folder 3

Sparks Family Typescripts