Darius Sprague was born in 1822. He enlisted in Co. A of the 1st Regiment of Missouri Mounted Volunteers on June 6th, 1846, and served for one year, fighting in the Mexican War. When the Civil War broke out, Darius enlisted again, on July 29th, 1861, in the 11th Michigan Infantry. He was 5 feet 10 inches tall, with light hair and blue eye. At 39 years old, he was also one of the older soldiers in his regiment.
His regiment moved from Michigan to Kentucky in late 1861 and moved to Tennessee in the spring of 1862. At Gallatin, in August, his regiment fought and defeated the cavalrymen of the famous Confederate general, John Hunt Morgan. In December of 1862 the regiment fought at the battle of Stones River, Tennessee, where it had 118 men killed, wounded, or captured. Corporal Sprague and the 11th Michigan next battle was in Northern Georgia at Chickamauga in September of 1863.
In November of 1863, Corporal Sprague and the 11th Michigan took part in one of the most famous charges in American military history, the charge up Missionary Ridge at Chattanooga, Tennessee in November of 1863. During this charge, Corporal Sprague was shot in the thigh and severely wounded. He was sent home to White Pigeon, Michigan, to recover from his wound.
He was still in Michigan recovering from his wound when his regiment was mustered out of service in September of 1864. After the war he went back to his pre-war occupation of farmer. He lived in Michigan, Missouri, and Kansas, before moving to California in the 1890’s. In 1896 he was admitted to the Pacific Branch of the National Home for Disabled Soldiers, in Los Angeles. These facilities were commonly called “ old soldiers homes,” and it was there that Corporal Sprague passed away in 1899, at age 77. He is buried at Magnolia Memorial Park.