Engineer, soldier, politician.
Graduated from the military school at Mezières. Joined the corps of engineers (1761). Completed a new set of regulations for the corps in conjunction with the reforms initiated by St.- Germain. Served in America as an officier du génie and rose to the rank of general.
Returned to France as brigadier des armées du roi. Named maréchal de camp (1788). Minister of War during the French Revolution (1790-91).
Fled to the United States in 1793 where he became chef du génie of the Continental army. Died on board the ship which was carrying him back to France.
Brother of Achille-Guillaume Lebègue de Presle.