He entered the engineer branch in 1838, served in the campaigns in the Caucasus, rose to be colonel, and commanded the sappers and miners at the siege of Kars in 1855.
- These are formed into battalions of pioneers, railway troops, telegraph troops, sappers and miners, &c.; in all II battalions (55 companies) numbering 245 officers and 10,470 men.
He had no adequate corps of sappers and miners, or transport train.
A small battalion of Karens enlisted as sappers and miners proved a failure and had to be disbanded.
Immediately after his return he sent to Austria and Prussia for as many sappers, miners, engineers and carpenters as money could procure.