Belleau Wood is named for a key battle in France during WW1 where a fountain now stands in tribute. From the Devil Dog fountain comes a stream of fresh water that is said to provide protection in battles to come.
"Retreat? Hell, we just got here!"
The Battle of Belleau Wood took place during the summer of 1918 during the Germam spring offensive in World War I. An Allied victory, and the first major engagement of the US Army, the struggle for Belleau Wood took place near the Marne River in France. U.S., British, and French forces united against the German forces with strength and persistence. The resolution of this battle secured their first important victory in France thanks to the bravery of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Division, comprising the 4th Marine Brigade (the “Fighting Fifth” and 6th Marine Regiments).
When German troops advanced, French troops began to retreat and urged U.S. to do the same. U.S. Captain Lloyd W. Williams exclaimed,
“Retreat? Hell, we just got here!”
and the Americans remained and held the German attack back. The Americans launched six attacks before the Germans were finally expelled from Belleau Wood on June 26, 1918. In recognition of their service and sacrifice, the French renamed Belleau Wood the "Bois de la Brigade de Marine"—Wood of the Marine Brigade—and awarded the 4th Marine Brigade the coveted Croix de Guerre. It was a battle no one believed the Marines would win until they did. It's said those German troops called United States Marines Teufel Hunden which means "Devil Dogs."
In June 1923, Belleau Wood was dedicated as an American battle monument. Today, at Belleau, the Devil Dog Fountain sits a few steps away from a chapel rebuilt by Americans after the war, bearing the names of 1,060 men who disappeared during the battle. From the fountain comes a constant stream of fresh water and Marines visiting the site take a drink in the belief those who drink from it will receive strength and protection in battles to come. It's also done to remember the Marines who fought there and those who never came home.
Belleau Wood is aged in one of our brand new foeders for two weeks. Each sip has notes of oak, vanilla, and cinnamon. Belleau Wood is 7.2% ABV (alcohol by volume).