He had no adequate corps of sappers and miners, or transport train.
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.
Immediately after his return he sent to Austria and Prussia for as many sappers, miners, engineers and carpenters as money could procure.
The royal engineers are 4 regiments of sappers and miners, I of pontooners, I battalion of telegraph engineers, I of railway engineers with cyclists, I balloon corps, and ~ colonial corps.
A small battalion of Karens enlisted as sappers and miners proved a failure and had to be disbanded.