John D. Gudith Jr

By Marty Bertera & Mary-Jonah Wien 

An excerpt from an upcoming book about Veterans from the  Wyandotte, MI area

John Daniel Gudith Sr. (1841-1919)

John Daniel Gudith Sr. (1841-1919) was born on January 26, 1841, in Canton De Vaud, Switzerland. (1)  He was the son of Julia Frague and John Gudith.  The family departed from Le Havre, France, and arrived in New York, New York, on April 24, 1850.  When John was nine, his family moved to Brownstown, Michigan.(2)   As a young man, he ventured out to California to mine gold, to be part of the gold rush even though some years late and as the adage goes, it did not pan out.  If you were short on money and wanted to get back home east, luck came John’s way as he found his ticket.  California wanted to help the Union war effort and was recruiting to send a few companies back east to serve in the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry.  On February 4, 1863, he enlisted in San Francisco, California.  His trip to Massachusetts would not be easy; a steamer would take them on the waters of the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Panama, then they would travel across that malaria-infested country then board another steamer on the Atlantic Ocean side that would transport them up to the East Coast, to Boston, Massachusetts.  He would serve out his enlistment almost to its very end.  A drunken officer wounded John by handling his pistol carelessly at Point of Rocks, Maryland.  On July 21, 1865, he was mustered out as a Corporal in Company L.(3) John D. Gudith Senior, whose post office address was in Wyandotte, Michigan, as was typical for most Brownstown residents about three miles travel distance from his farm, enlisted in the 5th Michigan Cavalry in 1862 and served under General George Armstrong Custer at Gettysburg and in the Shenandoah Valley he was killed October 18, 1864, at Maubertown, Virginia and is buried in the National Cemetery at Winchester, Virginia Lot 73.(4) After his service, John returned to Brownstown, where a road and school still carry his family name, and started courting Susan Cross Anson.  Susan was the widow of Sergeant Elisha Anson.  Elisha mustered in Company K of the 1st Michigan Cavalry on August 12, 1861.  Unfortunately, Elisha would never see his wife or children again; on May 28, 1864, he was killed in the battle of Hawes Shop, Virginia.  Back then, it was widespread for a widow to marry quickly after losing a spouse so she could have someone help to support their family.  On September 13, 1866, John and Susan were married in Trenton, Michigan. (5) By 1870 five children were living in the Gudith home. (6) As the years went on, the Gudith family continued to grow.  John would continue working as a farmer, and Susan would care for the children.  The Gudith family never lived in Wyandotte but frequently visited the city to gather mail from the Wyandotte post office.  John passed away on March 9, 1919, buried at West Mound Cemetery in Taylor, Michigan. (7) 

John Danial Gudith

[1] The Wyandotte Herald 1919-03-28

[2] The Wyandotte Herald 1919-03-28

[3] Sabers History of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry in the Civil War. James L. McLean Indiana University Press 2000.

Their Horses Climbed Trees, Larry Rogers and Keith Rogers, Schiffer Military History Atglen, PA., 2001

[4] Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2009.

[5] Original data: Marriage Records. Michigan Marriages. Various Michigan County marriage collections.

[6] 1870 United States Federal Census [database online]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

[7] Find a Grave, database, and images ( accessed 20 February 2023)