The Rani of Jhansi, a formidable woman, held the fortress of Jhansi with 12,000 men and 40 guns.

The Field Force, commanded by Sir Hugh Rose, surrounded the fort. The Rani sent for help from Tantia Topi, who commanded 20,000 men. They arrived at Jhansi on 31st March, surrounding Rose’s force which was now greatly outnumbered and sandwiched between two enemy forces. Rose extricated a force of some 1,200 soldiers and 8 field guns from the siege force at night. Topi advanced on Rose’s force but Rose counter-attacked with troops of the 14th Light Dragoons, with Captain Richard Prettejohn’s troop on the left wing, Captain Need on the right wing and the infantry and guns in the centre.