Entered Austrian army; rose steadily from cadet to aide-major (1760-75). Commissioned captain of the provincial artillery at Strasbourg in French army (1780). Served with Maillebois in the Netherlands (1785-90). Returned to French army (1792); adjutant-general and chief of battalion of army of the Rhine (1793). Unsuccessful commander in chief of army in Italy (1795). Controversial minister of war (July 1797-February 1799).
Born at Delle, a French town on the Swiss border; died at Chauny.