SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 49
(By Senators Browning, Beach and Stollings)
Requesting the Division of Highways to name County Route 0061/07 in Wyoming County, from the Logan County line, the “Private Floyd Cline Memorial Highway”.
Whereas, Floyd Cline was born on June 18, 1890, in Uno, Wyoming County, the son of David and Margaret Toler Cline. The history of his early childhood is not generally known. His participation in World War I presents a story upon which legends are formed. He became the first West Virginian to receive the second-highest award for a soldier, the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism, an award requiring the honoree to be saluted by the President of the United States; and
Whereas, Floyd Cline was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, for an act of bravery that was termed “his fearlessness” on the Argonne Front in World War I during a fierce battle at a place called Tuilerie Farm near La Charmel, France. The French and American forces were on a little bluff with the outer edge a cliff with several ledges overlooking a river. They were suddenly surprised by heavy artillery and machine gun fire. The forces were ordered to retreat. Before they could, the cliff was lined with dead and wounded soldiers, with many of their comrades knocked into the river by falling rocks struggling with the water for their lives. There are conflicting accounts of what next occurred, but they all agree that Private Floyd Cline did not retreat. Instead, he apparently dived into the river and rescued approximately twenty soldiers. In spite of this act of heroism, Private Floyd Cline was brought up for court martial by his captain for disobeying a command. His captain, knowing why Private Floyd Cline stayed behind, stated that Cline’s action was one of the greatest displays of bravery that he had ever witnessed. The captain then recommended that the highest honor for an act of bravery be conferred upon Private Floyd Cline and the case was dismissed; and
Whereas, Private Floyd Cline was asked to go to Washington, D. C. shortly after his return from the war in 1919 to receive his medal. He refused; and he did not respond to letters from Washington to come and receive the medals and military honors. Years later, Floyd Cline supposedly explained his reasons for refusing the honors because he did not like the high cost of food in Washington nor having to stand at attention for three hours upon his return to the States. He is reported as having said that “They’d never get him back in that town for a million medals”. However, it has been opined that Private Floyd Cline having been brought up among the hills believed that he was right in his refusal and he had a sense of appreciation that did not require an array of medals. Private Floyd Cline is buried in Morgan Cemetery at Long Branch, Wyoming County. He belonged to a bygone era and held to a philosophy where the cardinal virtues reign supreme. When asked if he would enlist if there was another war, Private Floyd Cline said “Yep, I’ll join every time they start one”. He was a soldier who did not want to stand at attention again and never received, during his lifetime, the proper attribution for his bravery in France. His dedication and commitment to his state and country serve as a great example and reminder to us all and should not go unnoticed; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Legislature hereby requests the Division of Highways to name County Route 0061/07 in Wyoming County, from the Logan County Line, the “Private Floyd Cline Memorial Highway”; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Division of Highways is hereby requested to have made and be placed signs identifying this section of highway as the “Private Floyd Cline Memorial Highway”; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the Senate is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and to the surviving family of Private Floyd Cline.