John Andews Spracklin, the son of John and Lydia Spracklin, died in action in the Civil War at Vicksburg. He was wounded in the head and passed away on the 19th of June, 1863. His father with the same name, died a year before on 6 February 1862 . His mother Lydia had passed in 1851 so his parents did not have to deal with the tragedy of loosing a child. I am sure that news spread fast among his siblings.
Drusila, John’s wife, was the one who took the brunt of this death and was left to care for three young boys. Here is a little story about what happened when she received the news of John’s death:
CIVIL WAR TRAGEDY
A Spracklin (Spracklen) family history tells the story of Wilmina and George Spracklin’s first meeting (as a year old infant) during the Civil War of 1863, in the town of Mt. Vernon, Ohio. The two babies and their mother chanced to meet the at the town’s Post Office on the day that Mrs. Spracklin (len) had just opened a letter stating that her husband (a union Army solider) had been mortally wounded in battle. Although the ladies were complete strangers, little Wilmina’s mother (Mrs, Bricker, by name) took a moment to console the grieving Mrs. Spracklen who was holding her baby George.
Following this incident the ladies never met again, as the Brickers soon moved from Ohio to a farm near Belle Plaine, Iowa. Widow Spracklen continued to live in Ohio where she worked and raised her three sons, George and her two older boys.
Eighteen years later, however, young George (following his mother’s death) decided to go west to seek employment, through coincidence, he stopped at an Iowa farm to ask for work. The farm was none other than that of the Brickers. Mrs. Bricker upon inviting the young stranger in, soon discovered that the applicant was the same “little George” whose mother she had met that eventful day in the Post Office in Mt. Vernon, Ohio in 1863.
After frequent visits to the Bricker home for a period of two years, George Spracklin and Wilmina Bricker were married in 1883, they made their home in town for a few years and then moved to the new state of Wyoming where Wilmina died in 1901 at the age of 39. She is buried at Poverty Flats near Douglas, Wyoming.
Source: B. Roufley files, received from a grandson wife of George Spracklen circa 1980’s. Note: George was born in 1862 so he would have been about 13 years old upon his mother’s death. His brother John would be 19 years old and his brother Charles would have been 15 years old.
John A. Spracklin’s Civil War pension is featured with only 4 pages at Fold3 #68.365 with a reference to Minors #226737 September 25, 1876. I have not been able to find the Minor reference on Fold3 at this time or any of the other numbers on the card so I don’t think the whole pension is on Fold3.
The copies I obtained of this pension file were in the files of B. Roufley, my cousin and we are great grand nieces of John’s.
After John’s death Drusila would apply for his Civil War Pension, on the 29th of August, 1863. She filed at the Probate court in Knox County, Ohio, which implies that she returned to Ohio from Illinois, after the death of her husband.
Widows Declaration — Army Pension (summary of the form)
On the 29th of August, 1863 personally appears before me the Probate Judge in the county and State named above Drusila E. Spracklin a resident of Mt. Vernon…being of the age of 29 years….that she is the widow of John Andrews Spracklin, Private, Co. H, Capt. Dobson 116th Regm’t…who died on the 19th of May, 1863 (a month before my information) from a gunshot wound to the head. She further declares she was married to the said John Spracklin on the 3rd of November 1855, a certified copy will be made hereon (it was included with the declaration). She farther declares that she has 3 children that are under the age of sixteen years at the time of her husband’s decease; their names and ages and residence at the time are as follows:
John Clement Spracklin age 6 years, Charles Nathaniel Spracklin age 3 years and George Henry Spracklin age 11 months all of whom live with applicant in Mt. Vernon, Knox Co., Ohio. She appoints W. McClelland her attorney…witnessed by Clement B. Wolverton and T.V. Parke. Clement B. Wolverton and Andrew Lauderbaugh residents of Mt. Vernon are witnessed to knowing John and Drusilla.
Apparently the Adjutant General office in Washington D.C. was contacted on October 28, 1863 and they filled out an affidavit regarding the death of John Spracklin and testified to it being the correct information.
It states: he enrolled on the 14 of August 1862 in Shelby Co., Illinois into the 116th Reg. Company H for 3 years. He mustered in as Private the 6th day of September, 1862 in Decatur, Illinois. He is reported to have died in the division hospital on June 19, 1863. Name of Applicant Druscila E. Spracklin, Mt. Vernon, Knox Co., Ohio.
A Isom Simmons, 2nd Lieut, Co. H, 116th also wrote an affidavit on Jan. 23, 1864 from Larkinsville, Alabama which I shared in a past post. Here it is again for clarification.
It reads: “Larkinsville, Ala (Name of city hard to read), Jan. 22, 1864. I certify on honor that John A. Spracklin a member of Co. H, 116th regiment, Illinois Inftry Volunteers was wounded in the head on the 19th day of May 1863 at Vicksburg, Miss. and also that the wound was the cause of his death on the 19th day of June 1863 at Division Hospl. Walnut Hills, Miss. signed by Isom Simmons (first name difficult to read) 2nd Lieut. Co. H, 116th, Ill. Vols.”
Several years later Drusilla applied for a Widow’s Claim for Increased pension on the 27th of August, 1866. There were three additional documents.
1. State of Ohio, Knox County, 27th day of August 1866, personally appeared before me…Drusilla E. Spracklin, a resident of Mt. Vernon in the County of Knox, State of Ohio, who being duly sworn, in order to obtain the pension by the act of Congress of 1866…That she is the widow of John A. Spracklin who was a private in the 116th Reg’mt of Illinois, Volunteers in the War of 1861, that she is in receipt of pension certificate 68365 and was paid to include March 4 1866 at the Columbus, Ohio agency….following named children of hers, left her by her said husband at the time of his death, which were under 16 years of age at the date of the passage of the act (1866):
John C. Spracklin born October 17, 1856
Charles N. Spracklin born May 1, 1860
George H. Spracklin born June 19, 1862
John was born in Mt. Vernon, Knox Co., Ohio, Charles N and George H. were born in Shelby Co., Illinois. She appoints Wm. McClelland of Mt. Vernon her attorney. Signed by Drusila E. Spracklin.
Witnesses were Nathaniel S. Wolverton and a David Y. Gardner, residents of Knox Co.
Signed by Thomas V. Parke, Probate Judge, Know Co., Ohio.
This is why Civil War pension files are so amazing, you never know what information you will find. In this case the mother gives the information about her children’s births and their birth location. We also see how Drusila spelled her own name via her signatures.
Drusilla gave testimony in an affidavit in September of 1867:
2. Written on the side ________________(partially cut off) No. 68365, The State of Ohio, Knox County: ss
Personally appeared before me the _____________authority Druscilla E. Spracklin who being duly Sworn says that she is the identical person who had made applications for increase pension No. 68365 ___ pending. That her late husband John A. Spracklin left no minors by a former marriage. That she has not married since the death of her said husband, nor abandoned the support of any of their children under sixteen years of age nor permitted any one for whom increase is claimed to be accepted by and that the children named in her said application are the only legitimate children of herself and her said deceased husband none living – she refers to her application as to the names of her said children and proof of the same heretofore sent. Signed by Drusila E. Spracklin (Her original signature).
Sworn by Drusila E. Spracklin before this 25th day of September A.D. 1867. I further certify that I am well acquainted with her and know her to be the person she represents herself to be and that I have no interest in her claim for increase pension. Signed by Alexander D. Elliott, Clerk, Court of Com. Pleas, Knox Co., Ohio.
Here is a witnesses affidavit:
3. Evidence in Support of the Claim of Drusila E. Spracklin, No. 68365 for increase pension. The State of Illinois, Shelby County, ss:
Personally appeared before me the undersigned authority, Justice of the Peace of the County of Shelby and State of Illinois, who being duly worn says, that she was personally acquainted with John A. Spracklin a private in Co. H of the 116th Regiment of Ill. Volunteers; also with his wife Drusilla E. Spracklin and also with their children John C., Charles N. and George H. Spracklin. That she knows they were born in the order named; that she was present when the said George H. Spracklin was born; that he was born on the 19th day of June A.D. 1862. That the said Drusilla E. Spracklin left the county and moved back to Ohio the next fall after said child was born. That she has no interest in the claim of the said Drusilla E. Spracklin for increase pension.
Mark of X by the following names: Attest C. Thornbeck, William W. Newkirk, Elizabeth Sp..lan, Mary H. Newkirk. (All difficult to read).
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 12 day of August A.D. 1867.
I further certify that I am personally acquainted with said Affiant; and that she’s a credible person; and that I have no interest direct or indirect in the prosecution of said claim for increase pension. I further certify that the content of said affidavit was made known to the affiant before she signed the same. Witness my hand and official Seal this 12th day of August A.D. 1867, Clarvis Thornbeck, J.P.
Drusilla applied for John’s pension but was also involved with his estate and probate process which I discuss in the next post.
Note: I will be happy to share original copies of the Civil War service and pension of John A. Spracklin with those descendants of this man who are interested. Leave a comment and I will connect with you.