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Francis W. Seeley


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: April 12, 1837

Birth Place: Ashtabula, OH

Seeley, Major Francis W., postmaster at Lake City, is the eldest son of I. O. Seeley, born at Ashtabula, Ohio, April 12, 1837, and was, therefore, but sixteen years old when he came with his parents to Wabasha. His educational privileges had been limited, but after joining the regular army he prepared himself by assiduous study for the life of a useful soldier and citizen. He enlisted in February, 1855, in Sherman’s battery, 3d Art., then stationed at Fort Snelling, and served till the opening of the civil war, as a non-commissioned officer, on the western frontier. On September 19, 1860, he was breveted second lieutenant by President Buchanan, and on February 4 following was made second lieutenant in the 4th Art.; May 14 thereafter he was promoted to first lieutenant, and served as adjutant-general of the department of Florida, where he was then stationed. July 11, 1863, he was made captain, 4th Art. He is the only officer, below the grade of field officer, mentioned by Greeley in his history of the rebellion. May 30, 1863, he was promoted to be a brevet captain, and July 2 following major, for “gallant conduct in the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.” Both promotions were confirmed by the senate. In the first-named memorable battle his battery fired the last Union shot, and he retired, under orders, with heavy loss in both men and horses.

At the conclusion of the battle (Chancellorsville) of Sunday, Captain F. W. Seeley’s battery, which was the last battery that fired a shot in that battle, had one officer and forty enlisted men killed and wounded, and in the neighborhood of sixty horses killed or disabled; but being a soldier of great pride and ambition, and not wishing to leave any of his material in the hands of the enemy, he withdrew so entirely at his leisure that he carried off all his wounded men and even the accoutrements from his dead and disabled horses!-See Vol. 1, page 9. Report of the committee on the conduct of the war, 1865.

In his official report of the battle of Gettysburg, Maj.-Gen. A. A. Humphreys says: “Seeley’s battery, ‘K, 4th U. S. Art.’ was placed at my disposal. * * * The firing of Seeley’s battery was splendid, and excited my admiration, as well as that of every officer who beheld it. His loss in men and horses was heavy, including himself, twice severely wounded.” Maj. Seeley was twice wounded on this occasion, and was ultimately forced by the effects of his injuries and exposure to resign his commission, which he did on August 31, 1864. Besides the battles above named, he participated in the following engagements: Battle of Santa Rosa Islands, Florida; bombardment of Forts McRae and Barrancas, Florida; siege of Yorktown; battles of Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, Fredericksburg and others. After leaving the army he returned to Wabasha county and engaged in farming for three years, but was forced to give it up on account of physical disability, the result of his wounds. He was elected to the legislature in 1868. In March, 1873, he was appointed by President Grant to the charge of Lake City postoffice, and has continued to serve the people in that capacity since. He was one of the original members of the Odd-Fellows lodge here. In theological matters he is very liberal. August 5, 1863, he espoused Miss Emily C. Loveland, of Ashtabula. They were given a daughter in 1866, and christened her Frances E.

Pages 1275, History of Wabasha County, compiled by Dr. L.H. Bunnell, published by H.H. Hill, 1884, Chicago.

The original pictures are in the Minnesota Historical Society collection.
Copied by Wesley Waring, SGS.
Donor E. A. Browley – Loyal Legion Album.

[Son of Ira O. SGS # 747 – Francis W.; Ira O.; Ajacks Tallman / Ajax Talman; Austin; Nehemiah; Robert, Nathaniel; Robert]

Francis W. Seeley
Mrs. Francis W. Seeley
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