he task of resupplying the town of Orléans in 1429 by Joan of Arc (to be - rightly - called, later: the Maid of Orléans), is one of the memorable episodes of the mission she had endeavoured to achieve After leaving Chinon at the head of an army of 4,000 men and rejoined in Blois by numerous knights and men-at-arms, Joan and the convoy of supplies reached Chécy on April 29 where Dunois, the bastard of Orléans, was anxiously expecting them.
Chécy, located 2 miles upstream of Orléans was in an advantageous position with its low banks on the Loire followed up to Orléans by wooded islands dividing the river in several easily crossable streams hiding the passages of boats from the view of the English soldiers besieging the town. Orléans had been under siege for seven months (was it because the invaders were too fond of the local wine?), but the people of Orléans knew it was possible to manage to send upstream to Chécy a few barges for transshipment of the convoy. But there was a snag; if, now as before, it's only a petit vent de Sud-Ouest ; that usually blows over Chécy, on that fateful day of April 1429, navigation upstream was rendered totally impossible by conjunction of strong headwinds and a torrential rain. Joan of Arc decided to perform to go to the Church of Chécy for a short prayer and, hop… as if by magic… uh… sorry, by miracle the wind suddenly reversed direction allowing serious operations to resume; incidentally, the omen was also enough to convince the Bastard of Orléans in charge of the defense of the town against the English army to accept, from now on to take orders from Joan of Arc.
It is in the port of Chécy that was carried out loading of weapons and supplies badly needed by the hungry besieged inhabitants of Orléans. In an orderly manner and sheltered from the enemy, barges could navigate down towards the town following the channel of the left bank, protected from attacks by the English troops of Orléans and of Jargeau … you could hardly expect anything better.
For the record, with no proof to support the claim, we are reasonably sure the kind people of Chécy did not fail to add discreetly a few cases of our Chécy wine to the loading… but no history book does not mention this historic fact!