An army under the
command of Sir Hugh Rose reached Jhansi. He sent word to the Maharani to come unarmed
along with her friends and meet him.
But the Rani refused. She replied that she would go to any meeting only with her army.
Within a period of ten months (June 1857 to March 1858(after Lakshmi Bai took over the
administration of Jhansi from the British, It had improved. The treasury was full. The
army was well organized. There was an army of women matching the army of men.
The Rani had name some of her guns: Mighty Road, Bhavani
Shankar and lightning Streak. These guns were being fired by turns by
men and women. Old weapons were sharpened. New weapons were got ready. During those days
every house in Jhansi was busy preparing for the war. And everything was done under the
guidance of the Maharani.
The army under Sir Hugh Rose declared war on 23rd March 1858.
For ten or twelve days the tiny state of Jhansi marched in the light and the shadow of
victory and defeat. The relief of one success was followed the next moment by the shock of
a defeat. Many faithful Sirdars fell. Unfortunately no help came from outside.