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: Col. Nuttall takes Sachima
medium: reports
person: Nuttall/ Col.
location: Sachema (Sachima)
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: Having improved the communications and established a defensible post at Kohima, the General determined to make another step forward. On the morning of the 14th November, Colonel Nuttall, C.B., Commanding 44th Assam Light Infantry, was despatched with two hundred of his regiment to surprise the village of Sachima, about twelve miles distant, on the direct road to Konoma, and not more than seven or eight miles distant by the path from that place. He was to form a camp there for the main body. Colonel Nuttall, with his two hundred rifles, and a hundred and thirty laden coolies, left Piphima at an early hour. All that day was spent in working on the road. The path was cleared and improved, and (33) the ascents zigzagged to make them passable for laden elephants. At dusk, the detachment bivouacked in a "jhum" clearing, without fires. At 1 A.M. the advance was resumed, but it was not till 9 A.M. that the troops reached the foot of the steep rise to Sachima. The village was found to be deserted; but no sooner had the troops taken possession than the enemy began stealing up, under cover of the jungle clothing the hill, the houses, and stone walls. One sepoy was shot dead and another mortally wounded. In self-defence, Colonel Nuttall found himself obliged to destroy a portion of the village. Barricades were then erected at the exposed points, and efforts made to put the place in a state of defence. Surrounded by burning houses, and with a watchful enemy ready to fire at any man who exposed himself, this was no easy task. But all ranks worked with a will, and by 5 P.M. the lines of defence were sufficiently strong to be held with comparative ease. During the night, the Nagas fired from several points, but without result. Next morning (16 November), General Nation, with his head quarters, and the remainder of the 44th Sylhet Light Infantry, arrived from Piphima, having been obliged to bivouac for the night in the jungle below the village. The troops were now strong enough to occupy all the positions required, and the enemy were prevented from causing further annoyance. ( Colonel Nuttall's report, dated Sachima, 17th November 1879.)