Calvary cross at Illy

This hamlet whose splendid panorama overlooking the village of Illy has certainly been popular as a mecca wherein the spirit has been flowing for centuries for surrounding villagers. This example at Illy could not have escaped the attention of General Margueritte at the beginning of the afternoon of the 1 of September 1870. It was here that he assembled his Cavalry Division prior to its fateful charges against the German infantry lines on the slopes below, on the plateau of Terme.
Towards 2.30 pm, he advanced in front of his troops to within 400 meters of the enemy to reconnoitre their positions. It was at the moment that the cavalry charge began that he was mortally wounded close to the Terme Inn.
He was immediately succeeded by General Gallifet, who led the first heroic charge. All the cavalry units wanted to avenge the loss of their commander, particularly the 1st Regiment of the Chasseurs d’Afrique which he had previously commanded.
This series of charges marks the last ever French cavalry charge. The memorial ‘des Braves Gens’ (the Brave People) commemorates these events.

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