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Pierre Louis Charles de Failly

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Pierre Louis Charles de Failly

Pierre-Louis Charles de Failly (21 January 1810 – 15 November 1892) was a French general.

He was born in Rozoy-sur-Serre, Aisne, the son of Count Charles-Louis de Failly (descendant of a family of ancient nobility from Lorraine), and of Sophie Desmons de Maigneux. He was educated at the Saint-Cyr and entered the army in 1828.

In 1851 he had risen to the rank of colonel, and Napoleon III, with whom he was a favorite, made him general of brigade in 1854 and general of division in 1855, after which Failly was for a time his aide-de-camp. During the Crimean War he served in the siege of Sevastopol. During the Austro-Sardinian War he commanded the 2nd Infantry Division in the 4th Corps. In 1867 he led the French expeditionary corps sent to protect the Papal States with which he defeated Giuseppe Garibaldi at Mentana, this action being the first in which the chassepot rifle was used. Back in France, he was made a senator for life.

In 1870, during the Sedan. He was captured by the Prussians at Sedan on 2 September, but was liberated some months later.

The rest of his life was spent in retirement. He died at Compiègne, aged 82.

Failly wrote Campagne de 1870. Opérations et marches du 5ème corps jusqu'au 31 août (Brussels, 1871).

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