1st Lieutenant Hezekiah Sauer, USMC

2nd Lt. Sauer, Cuba, 1898

Born in 1875 at Fort Apache, Arizona Territory, Hezekiah Erasmus Sauer grew up on the American Frontier in the last years of what would one day be called the Old West. He carried proof of this his whole life: in September of 1881, Fort Apache was besieged by Geronimo's warriors; the six-year-old Hezekiah ran boxes of ammunition from the post magazine to the soldiers fighting off the Indians. An Apache bullet caught him in the neck, leaving a scar that he claimed itched whenever danger was near.

His mother died when he was 12, and after her death, he was raised not so much by his father as he was by others on the post -- namely, black cavalry soldiers and Apache Indian Scouts. His father, a U.S. Marshal, violently disapproved of his associating with "niggers and redskins", which only made Hezekiah do it more often, to the point that he "walked with the Apaches" who taught him how to survive in the high desert. He fell in love with an Apache girl, Liluye ("Hawk Singing") whom his father subsequently killed. Unable to prove that a United States Marshal was a murderer, Sauer fled and spent the next few years as an itinerant cowboy in Arizona Territory and in Mexico.

When the U.S.S. Maine was blown up in 1898 in Havana harbor, Sauer volunteered for the Marine Corps. His immediate commission as a 2nd Lieutenant has been questioned by historians, who now believe that he received it due to a clerical error, as an H. (Harold) Sauer was on file at the School of Application, Marine Barracks, Washington D.C. In any event, 2nd Lt. H. (Hezekiah) Sauer proved to be an asset to the Navy, seeing extensive shore action in Cuba. However, an altercation with Captain McCalla of the U.S.S. Marblehead over the refusal to allow the Marines to abandon Camp McCalla and withdraw to a safer position ignited an enmity between the two officers that lasted throughout Hezekiah's naval career. It is believed that this is the reason that Lt. Sauer's name is not on the rolls of the American force Captain McCalla led in the Seymour Expedition.

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