Antoine-Charles-Louis, Comte de Lasalle was one of Bonaparte’s favourite cavalry generals during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Often called the “Hussar General”, he first gained fame as a daring adventurer and skilled horseman and followed the Emperor to Egypt, then back to Europe with campaigns in Spain, Prussia and across the entire continent. Napoleon himself described Lasalle as one of his ‘lucky generals’!
On, July 5, 1809 however the ‘Hussar General’s ‘ luck ran out at the ‘Battle of Wagram’.
Leading a regiment of French cuirassiers in pursuit of enemy infantry he was first shot in the chest but continued to lead the charge.
As the enemy retreat turned into a rout one of the fleeing infantrymen turned and fired his musket at the leading French officer hitting him, more by accident than aimed intention.
General Lasalle reeled back in the saddle, shot between the eyes and dropped dead from his saddle.
On the battlefield Lasalle was easily recognizable by his short, highly decorated Hussar pelisse (jacket) and his adoption of the mameluk’s long, loose fitting red trousers... and his fore and aft bicorne.