In early November 1918, the 1st Infantry Division had been following the Germans toward the border. On 7 November, the Germans appeared ready to make a stand and the elements of the Division were in position to attack the next morning. The attack was stopped when the Germans withdrew accross the border. Rumors of armistice were rampant.
The 6th Field Artillery was ordered to withdraw to the Beaumont area near Vaux-en-Drelet. The 6th Field Artillery went into a wooded area on about 8 November.
Two lieutenants of the 2nd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery, visited a destroyed town nearby and found a cellar with many cases of wine. They found it to be "Ch... - du - P...". They conferred with other officers and decided it would be a shame to leave such a good find. They informed the commanding officer who said they probably would not fire another round before occupation duty and he gave permission to unload the reserve ammo from the escort wagons and quietly load them with wine. Each of the batteries still had 3 days of fire left in the gun sections.
The battalion commander felt quite guilty about the wine and decided to tell the regimental commander. The regimental commander decided to notify division about the wine. The division commander was also upset, but said since it was done it was too late to take any action about the abandoned ammo. However, he directed that the wine be split among the other officer's messes in the division.
The supply of wine lasted throughout the occupation and was used only on special occasions. All toasts were made with "Ch... - du - P..." and it became know as the 1st Division wine.