Edward Seeland was born on June 7, 1840, in Prussia.
Edward immigrated to America and settled in western Michigan by the time the war broke out.
He stood 5’8’ with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was a 21-year-old carpenter probably living in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He was discharged for chronic rheumatism and mumps on December 16, 1861, at Camp Michigan, Virginia.
After he was discharged from the army Edward subsequently returned to Grand Rapids where he reentered the service in Company B, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, on December 17, 1863, for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids’ Second Ward, and was mustered on January 2, 1864. Edward probably joined the regiment somewhere in the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennesse where it was on engineering duty as well as at Bridgeport, Stevenson and on line of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, Nashville & Northwestern Railroad, Tennessee & Alabama Railroad and Memphis & Charleston Railroad building block houses, etc., till May, 1864. The Regiment was on duty on the Atlantic & Western Railroad building block houses, etc., till September when it was ordered to Atlanta, Ga., September 25. Old members were mustered out October 31, 1864.
It remained on duty at Atlanta September 28 to November 15; and participated in the March to the sea destroying railroad track, bridges and repairing and making roads November 15-December 10; in the siege of Savannah December 10-21, in the Carolina Campaign January to April, 1865; in the advance on Raleigh April 10-14, and occupation of Raleigh April 14; in the surrender of Johnston and his army. The regiment then marched to Washington, D. C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 20, and was in the Grand Review on May 24. Ordered to Louisville, Ky., June 6; then to Nashville, Tenn. Duty at Nashville July 1 to September 22.
Edward was promoted to Artificer on August 1, 1865, and was mustered out with the regiment on September 22, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee. The regiment was discharged at Jackson, Jackson County, Michigan on October 1.
Edward again returned to Grand Rapids where for many years he worked as a carpenter.
He married Anna B. Stach on January 22, 1872, and divorced from her on October 18, 1907; they had eleven children: Annie or Lillie (b. 1877), Fred (b. 1885), Carl (b. 1887), Chancey (b. 1890), Mabel (b. 1892) and Roy (b. 1894); and five who died in infancy.
He was a devout Protestant and by 1912 was a minister of the gospel. In 1880 he applied for and received pension no. 428,140.
At some point Edward lived in Washington, DC, and was living in South Hannibal, Missouri in 1880 and 1882. He was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 3887) for the first time on September 9, 1902, and discharged at his own request on June 14, 1904, readmitted on June 19, 1905, and discharged May 28, 1906. Following a second readmission he was dropped on June 20, 1908, and in 1912 he was living in St. Louis, Missouri. He also lived in Salt Lake city, Utah and at 2148 Curtis Street in Denver, Colorado in 1915.
He was living in Chicago, Illinois, when he died of heart disease on July 24, 1917, probably at his home at 301 Aberdeen Street in Chicago and was buried on July 27 in Elmwood cemetery in Chicago.