Antoine August Michel “Tony” Gaujot MOH

b. 12/12/1878 Eagle Harbour, Michigan. d. 14/04/1936 Williamson, West Virginia.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 19/12/1899 San Mateo, Philippines.

Antoine A M Gaujot MOH

Antoine August Michel Gaujot was born on December 12, 1878 in Eagle Harbor Township, Michigan, United States. His father, Ernest R. Gaujot, a French-born mining engineer, emigrated to Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, where he met and married Susan Ellen McGuigan. The family subsequently relocated to Michigan, then lived for a while in Ontario, Canada, before moving to Lynchburg, Virginia. Ernest Gaujot had traveled to Japan in 1877 to serve as general superintendent of mines. He solved some significant problems while in Japan, for which the Mikado reportedly conferred on him the honorary title of “general”.

In 1894, the family moved to what the following year would become Mingo County, West Virginia, at a time of rapid expansion of coal mining operations in the region. Ernest Gaujot was resident engineer for the Koontz Brothers of New York City, whose mineral holdings in Mingo County were consolidated under the name United Thacker Coal Company.

Antoine A.M. Gaujot, also called “Tony”, attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) in 1896 and 1897 but did not graduate. A civil engineer by profession, he obtained the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Infantry Reserve.

Although eventually ruled an accidental death Tony was tried by court martial for killing a soldier of the regiment at Camp Wetherhill. An undated manuscript handwritten statement, apparently written by the regimental adjutant, initially charged Tony with a violation of the 62d Article of War. “Murder, to the prejudice of good order and Military discipline.”

The document alleged that, around 6 p.m. on November 29, 1898, Tony, “in attempting to arrest Private Frank Scurlock… secure[d] from the tent of his Captain without the Captain’s Knowledge [sic], a revolver, and going to the tent wherein the said Private Frank Scurlock was, shoot him with the said revolver, in the neck,” thereby causing his death. A typed document changed the charge to “Murder, in violation of the 58th Article of War,” and charged that Tony “feloniously and with malice aforethought” shot and murdered Scurlock “by firing… a bullet from a revolver,” inflicting “a mortal wound” from which “Scurlock languished and on the 5th day of December 1898, died.”

Tony was tried by a general court martial at Camp Wetherhill but was acquitted of the charge. He was released from confinement and returned to duty on February 2, 1899. He was also repromoted to first sergeant, having been reduced in grade to duty sergeant on January 1. Within a week, Tony requested a 15-day furlough “for the purpose of visiting my parents at Williamson…” First Lt. Charles W. Cramer, acting commander of Company K, forwarded the request to the divisional adjutant, “approved.” Cramer noted that Tony had “just been released from a confinement of 60 days duration for the killing of Private Scurlock of which he was acquitted by a General Court Martial….” Approval was warranted because, “The killing of Private Scurlock has greatly worried the mother of Sergeant Gaujot who is in very delicate health and she has written me a number of times asking me to procure him a furlough as soon as he was released.”

Antoine Gaujot received the Medal of Honor for actions on December 19, 1899 as a United States Army corporal at the Battle of Paye near Mateo during the Philippine-American War. 

Antoine’s medal was issued February 15, 1911 and sent to him by registered mail (a common procedure at that time). He was later commissioned in the National Guard and saw service during the Mexican Border Crisis and in France during World War I. 



For most distinguished gallantry on 19 December 1899, while serving with Company M, 27th Infantry, U.S. Volunteers, in action at San Mateo, Philippine Islands. Corporal Gaujot attempted under a heavy fire of the enemy to swim a river for the purpose of obtaining and returning with a canoe.