However, it only logs to /var/log/messages, does not use /var/log/filebeat and I do not believe is even looking at the right configuration file.
If I run the following (/usr/bin/filebeat -e -c /etc/filebeat/filebeat.yml) but if I start it on CentOS7 via the standard: systemctl start filebeat it fails to log to /var/log/filebeat and does not start properly at all.
You'll have to split those issues since they are different, logging/starting.
But I think you will be able to just continue with the "not starting at all" if you read the following about the logs not going where you want:
Fix the logging, or not and then give us more information about the "not starting" part by sharing things like your config, properly enclosed in triple backticks like ``` , and the output of the following (also properly enclosed):
sudo journalctl -u filebeat.service
sudo systemctl status filebeat
sudo systemctl start filebeat
If you changed anything else after you installed filebeat via yum, describe and share those changes too.
My apologizes, I did not realize the intended behaviour in systemd was to go to /var/log/messages and if that is default I would prefer to keep it that way. I should have looked for this instead of using an assumption.
Regarding my other issue I found several problems with the filebeat.yml (typing errors) and this issue can be closed out.