The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - Chapter III 'Detailed Report on the Naga Hills Expedition of 1878-80', Capt. P.J. Maitland

caption: General Nation's proposed plan of operation against Konoma
medium: reports
person: Nation/ Brig. Gen.Williamson/ Capt.Johnstone/ Col.Cock/ Maj.
location: Priphema (Piphema) Khonoma (Konoma) Burail Range Barpathar (Borpathar)
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: On the same date (14th November) Brigadier General Nation addressed the following letter to the Quarter Master General in India, describing his proposed plan of operations, and forwarding the copy of a telegram from the Chief Commissioner of Assam.-
text: CAMP PIPHIMA, 14th November 1879.
text: Sir,- In continuation of my letter no. 858, I have the honour to report that I arrived at Piphima on the 10th instant, where the Head Quarters of the 44th Regiment were encamped.
text: 2. The Political Officer, Captain Williamson, was in camp, and at once joined me, but then no definite plan of operations could be agreed upon owing to Colonel Johnstone, Political Officer of Manipur, having been placed in entire civil charge (Superseding the arrangement mentioned on page 28.); therefore it was necessary he should be communicated with.
text: 3. For this purpose Captain Williamson and Major Cock, Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, proceeded with an escort of 50 men to Kohima, on the 12th instant, to arrange all matters connected with the plan of operations.
text: (32) 4. Major Cock returned on the 13th instant, and I am now in possession of the information necessary to comply with your request conveyed in your telegram of the 3rd instant. (Desiring that the Commander-in-Chief might be informed of the General's plan of campaign.)
text: 5. The enemy's force at Konoma, where they have determinated to make their great and probably final stand, is estimated at not less than 3,000 men, and they are fairly armed, with several enfields and sniders captured from us at different times, and other guns to the extent of about 600.
text: Konoma is a strong fortified position on the spur of a hill with extremely steep approaches on the north and north-east sides; it is defended by a stone walls, which have been heightened and loopholed, and is commanded by a small stone fort, which has also been placed in a state of defence, and which is held by the enemy.
text: 6. Under these circumstances, I have determined to await the arrival of the guns and rockets, which should be here by the 19th at latest; as although I might take Konoma with the force at my disposal, yet it could only be done by incurring heavy loss on our side should a desperate resistance be made.
text: 7. The guns can be brought into position, and the fort be rendered untenable, while the infantry are advancing to the attack.
text: 8. I have arranged for the cooperation of the Manipuris for the cutting up of the flying enemy, a work for which the Kukis composing that force are admirably suited. The enemy have moved their women and children to the heavy jungles that clothe the Burail (Barel) range.
text: 9. After the occupation of Konoma, I shall remain there until the orders of Government, as per copy of Government telegram herewith attached, have been thoroughly carried out, and the disarmament of the entire Angami Naga population has been carried out, and which, I trust, may be effected in the course of a month or so.
text: 10. My great anxiety at present with the small force at my command is to arrange for the security of my communications, as there is no doubt, on the fall of Konoma, that the Nagas will scatter and infest the road from this even as far as Borpathar, which is dense forest and most suitable to their operations, and will considerably harass and delay the regular transport of our supplies; but the European officers of the police are energetic, and the posts from Golaghat to Samaguting have been all strengthened by the detachment of the 42nd Assam Light Infantry stationed at the former post. The great difficulties and insecurity of the country is such, that it is unsafe for the dak or any officer, even leaving camp for a few miles without an escort of less than from 15 to 20 men; and this entails heavy duty and great hardships on the men, and hampers and delays my movements, owing to the constant drains on the fighting force at my head quarters; but on the fall of Konoma, I hope much of this will be ameliorated.