David F. Pugh

The Daily State Journal, Parkersburg W. Va., Friday, 7 September 1900.

Submitted by Camille Ammerman.

     A West Virginia Romance. Judge D. F. Pugh, Formerly of Middlebourne, the Hero of it - Former Enemies Now Friends. -- Many 'State Journal' readers remember Judge D. F. Pugh, who used to reside at Middlebourne, in the good old county of Tyler. He practiced law in the picturesque county seat town for many years, was prosecuting attorney and a member of the Legislature. He married in Middlebourne, but after a while went to Columbus, Ohio, having been born in that State, and rose to eminence, being elected judge, and being recognized as one of the leading men of a State that has many leaders. He was very much talked of for Governor last Fall. Judge Pugh still loves West Virginia and still practices law some in this State.

"The Judge developed a real live romance at Columbus, Tuesday, the details of which are as follows:

"The first time that a Confederate flag has been returned by an Ohio regiment by which it was captured was Tuesday. In accordance with an act of the last Legislature, Governor Nash and Judge David Pugh, of Columbus, Chairman of the special committee of the veterans of the Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, handed back into the keeping of the soldiers of the Thirtieth Louisiana the worn and torn flag, which the Ohio boys captured during the siege of Atlanta, in 1864.

"Lieutenant John Landry, Shepherd D. Harris, and James H. Brown, all of the Thirtieth Louisiana, received the flag and will carry it back to New Orleans. This return of the flag by the blue to the gray took place at Worthington, north of Columbus, where the 'Fighting Forty-sixth' is in camp. All the incidents of the transfer were of interest, but one not down on the program was the discovery that Lieut. Landry, who is Chairman of the Louisiana regiment's committee, carries in his body a bullet fired by Judge Pugh, Chairman of the Ohio regiment's committee. Lieut. Landry, in his speech described the fighting before Atlanta on July 22, 1864, said: 'One white headed boy shot at me six times.

""He hit me once," said the ex-Confederate, "but, as you see, did not succeed in killing me. I have always wanted to meet that boy, who must now be well along in years. He was so persistent in trying to kill me that I should like to make his acquaintance and shake his hand."

     The Lieutenant described this 'white-headed boy' minutely, and when he had concluded Judge David F. Pugh arose and quietly announced that he was the boy. Lieutenant Landry's description had been so minute and correct that even after the lapse of more than a third of a century those present immediately recognized Judge Pugh as the 'white-headed boy' who was so anxious on that summer day long ago, to wind up the life of the rebel Lieutenant. Landry himself immediately recognized the Judge, and the two ancient enemies clapsed hands in a warm shake that meant the forgetting of all sectional differences.


     Judge David F. Pugh did have a West Virginia connection. Although born in Ohio circa 1845:

  • He is mentioned in the account of the incorporation of Middlebourne (Hardesty's Vol. 1, Tyler county) as its first clerk.
  • He is reported in the 1880 census of Tyler county WV, Middlebourne.
  • He played a part in the dedication of the state monument, Shiloh National Military Park, which is set forth at the park's website.
  • The source for the newspaper item is LDS Microfilm No. 0205561, Vol. 34, No. 138 (2 Jul 1900) - Vol. 35, No. 138 (31 Dec 1900), The Daily State Journal, Parkersburg W. Va.