As the War of the Austrian Succession drew to a close, the French Marshal Saxe maneuvered his army to besiege the city of Maastrect. Caught off guard, the Pragmatic Army (so named because it supported the Pragmatic Sanction) under the Duke of Cumberland hurried into position. Saxe attacked them on July 2, 1747 near the village of Lauffeldt. The victory was in doubt for several hours as Saxe's left wing stormed into Lauffeldt, only for his right to be hit by Sir John Ligonier's cavalry. Saxe consolidated his men, and Cumberland ordered his cavalry to cover the retreat. Again Ligonier's men charged. But this time, they were sacrificed to guard the rest of the army. Ligonier himself was captured by the Royal-Carabiniers.
After the battle subsided, Marshal Saxe introduced Sir John to Louis XV (who had watched the battle) with the words "Sire, I present to your Majesty a man who has defeated all my plans by a single glorious action." Even in war, Marshal Saxe showed respect for a brave enemy.