Sometime ago I posted a request for information regarding the Royal Engineers' part in the Mutiny. Thanks to Maureen and others' leads I have managed to piece together quite a lot about my forebear and the part played by the RE.
I thought part of my findings may be of general interest to forum members. A battalion of Royal Engineers were en route to what became the 2nd Opium War when they were diverted, at the outbreak of the Mutiny, from Singapore to India. Each RE company on arrival was attached to one of the relief forces.
My ancestor's company (the 2nd) were attached to the Central India Relief force and took part in six battles and several sieges, most notably at Jhansi where the RE were used as an assault force - half of them attempting to use ladders and half blowing in the gates - this latter assault succeeded. A sapper won the VC here for maintaining a sap under very heavy fire. It was here too the Ranee of Jhansi died when she led a cavalry charge.
The campaign ended for this force with the taking of the Heights of Punwarree. Here £700,000 sterling (in Victorian money) worth of specie was dug up. After a long ( 10 year ) court case this was awarded under the Admiralty Prize rules to the General, officers , NCOs and men of the Central India force. ( The other forces had sought unsuccessfully a share).
By the way the Royal Engineers were not attached to the Indian sappers and miner units.
I hope this of interest - I was surprised (as a Great war buff) to find how (relatively) little is written about the Central Indian campaign.