During the Revolt of 1857, some Company officers and civilians tried to take refuge in the Main Guard, but the sepoys there joined the revolt, and they were slaughtered. Other officers arrived from the barracks, accompanied by two field guns and several companies of sepoys who had not yet joined the rebellion, and recaptured the Main Guard, sending the bodies of the dead officers to the cantonments in a cart.
In the city meanwhile, the nine British officers from the Ordnance Corps at the arsenal (containing artillery, stocks of firearms and ammunition) found their troops and labourers were deserting, using ladders provided from the palace to climb over the walls. The officers opened fire on their own troops and the mobs, to prevent the arsenal falling intact into the rebels’ hands. After five hours, they had run out of ammunition and blew up their magazine, killing many rioters and onlookers, and badly damaging nearby buildings. Six of them escaped and five received the Victoria Cross.