G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
2nd MISSOURI VOLUNTEER CAVALRY
Organized: Aug./Dec., 1861 Benton Barracks, MO
Mustered Out: 9/15/65 St. Louis, MO
The 2nd a three-year western theater regiment, dubbed “Merrill’s Horse”, was organized by Capt. Lewis Merrill of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry, acting under authority of Union Gen. John C. Fremont. In September 1861, before it was fully organized and equipped, the regiment was called into service at Springfield, Missouri to repel a Confederate force invading the southwest portion of the state.
While the 2nd would see four years of hard service, one source notes: “Lack of reports on the part of regimental officers renders it impossible to give an authentic account of its brilliant services” against both regular and irregular Confederate forces. (An internet database personnel roster lists the names of only three members of the 2nd. Darius Seely is not one of the three!)
Poor record keeping aside, the 2nd ranged from Missouri, into Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia. In June 1865 the 10th MO cavalry was consolidated with the 2nd and concluded its career escorting trains from Chattanooga, TN to Atlanta, GA.
Residence: Johnstown, MI Age: 22.4 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 8/26/61 Battle Creek, MI Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: St. Louis, MO
Mustered Out: 9/15/64 St. Louis, MO
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Darius Seely was born 3/1/39 in Belfast, NY to parents Hiram and Hester “Sady” (nee Selleck) Seely. No additional information is available on his birth family, formative or teenage years. When the War of the Rebellion began in 1861 5’9” Darius was residing in Michigan where he was working as a carpenter. Why, when he responded to his country’s call for volunteers to quell the rebel uprising, he enlisted in a Missouri regiment is not known.
Darius’ period military service appears to have been fairly benign. Only three factors stand out: one, his surname came to be spelled Seeley as well as Seely; two, he served an unidentified period of detached service at the end of his enlistment; and three, he appears to have been absent from his unit on at least two occasions in early and mid 1864 because of illness.
The War behind him, Darius returned to the community and state of his birth. It was in the latter community of New Hudson on 10/11/66 that he married Harriet Benjamin (b/ca. 1858 Black Creek, NY). The union would produce at least four children: Clarence B. (9/15/67), Loren H. (5/21/76), George A. (6/22/81) and Lillian (4/13/85).
The Sealy’s remained in Kansas until 1880 then headed west to Washington Territory, settling first in the community of Napavine and, circa 1903, in Snohomish. Somewhere along the way Darius switched occupations from carpenter to farmer. In 1890 Darius applied for a government disability pension based on claims of “rheumatism, piles, and general debility” stemming from his Civil War soldiering days. Later complaints would include deafness, loss of teeth and heart problems.
At death his monthly stipend would amount to $30 per month. On 5/5/03, apparently not long after reaching Snohomish, Harriet Seely, age 45, died of undisclosed causes. On 9/14/04 in New York State the now 65-year-old Darius remarried to the previously wed Kathryn (nee Snow) Manhart. Kathryn was the first Mrs. Seely’s cousin. The couple settled in Snohomish.
Darius Seely, one time carpenter, cavalryman, and farmer died on Easter Sunday, 4/16/22. Cause of death was heart problems. His obituary read, in part, as follows: “Darius Seely…. Died at 1:30 Sunday afternoon at his home 418 Glen Street. He had been ill for some days but had planned to attend the Easter service at the church in the evening. Mrs. Seely attended the morning service and had finished telling him of the meeting when Mr. Seely attempted to rise from his chair. He fell over dead.” Darius was aged 83 years and one month.
By the late 1940’s Kathryn was residing with and being cared for by her stepson Clarence, in Olympia, WA. With the onset of the 1950’s she was confined to a rest home where she died at aged 98 years on Thanksgiving Day, 1953. At death she was receiving approximately $50 per month based on her second husband’s Civil War soldiering.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
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