Andrew J. Sauter

Andrew J. Sauter was born on November 5, 1830, in Prussia.

Andrew immigrated to America, and eventually settled in western Michigan by the time the war had broken out.

He stood 5’5” with brown eyes and hair and a dark complexion and was a 30-year-old fisherman possibly living in Muskegon County 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 first reported as killed in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, but in fact, he was was shot in the head and left eye and taken prisoner at Second Bull Run. He was paroled near the battlefield on September 4. According to the Richmond Dispatch of September 15, 1862,

Three thousand three hundred of the Yankee prisoners left Richmond on Saturday for Varina to be exchanged. – Such as could not walk were conveyed away in wagons. The officers, of which there were 61, went in carriages, provided for the purpose. As the long line filed past the C. S. Prison, on Cary street, they greeted their less lucky compeers with a feeble cheer. A small cavalry escort accompanied them down. Another large gang were started for Aiken’s landing, on James River, yesterday morning. During Saturday and Sunday five thousand two hundred and twenty-eight were sent away. This leaves on hand only about seven hundred, a good many of whom are in the hospital under treatment for wounds or disease, who were unable to bear removal. Three Yankee women and eight Yankee deserters, or rather men who came over to us and professed to be such, were sent from Castle Thunder. Though these deserters professed to have left their brethren in great disgust, they were very willing to be sent back to the North. The departure of the prisoners will save the Confederate Government an expense of about $4,000 per day, which was the average that their food as soldiers cost.

As of October 6, 1862, he was convalescing in College hospital in Georgetown, DC, preparing to go home on furlough. He was admitted on January 2, 1863, to Chestnut Hill hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania suffering from a gunshot wound to the left eye, and was discharged on February 18, 1863, at Chestnut Hill hospital, for “musket ball wound in the left eye.”

Although he listed Grand Haven, Ottawa County as his mailing address on his discharge paper, Andrew soon moved to Muskegon.

He was living in Muskegon when he married Mrs. Johanna F. Teichgraeber (1840-1918) on June 15, 1863; they had at least two children: Mary (b. 1867), Anna (b. 1869), Emma (b. 1871), Maggie (b. 1872), a son (b. 1874) and Frank (b. 1876).

In 1863 he began operating a bowling alley in Muskegon. He later became a farmer in Dalton, Muskegon County where he lived for many years; by 1870 (listed as “Souder”) he was working as a laborer and living with his wife and two daughters in Dalton in 1870. By 1880 he was working as a farmer and living in Dalton with his wife and children.

In 1863 he applied for and received pension no. 44,528, dated February of 1875, drawing $18.00 per month in 1883, and became a member of the Grand Army of the Republic Kearny post no. 7 in Muskegon in 1884.

Andrew died of stomach cancer on March 10, 1885 in Dalton and was buried in Evergreen cemetery, Muskegon: 1-10-1 (there is no record of this burial).

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 253687). His widow was living in Dalton, Muskegon County in 1890.