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 and troops reach north end of the village of Konoma
medium: reports
person: Nuttall/ Col.
location: Khonoma (Konoma)
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: Covered by a well directed fire from the guns, the portion of the 44th directed to storm the village essayed the difficult task before them. The Nagas calmly awaited the attack, and remained so still behind their walls that some fancied the place was undefended. At first the assailants were protected by the steepness of the hill, and by numerous stone terraced. Soon they were forced to abandon the attack formation and advance as they could by steep and narrow paths. The larger portion, led by Colonel Nuttall in person, found themselves in a narrow lane, near the top of which they came suddenly in view of the enemy, who at once opened fire. Four sepoys were instantly struck down, and Colonel Nuttall was grazed in the face by a bullet which passed through the thigh of a man behind him. Breaking from the lane, the sepoys took up such cover as they could find, and briskly returned the fire of the enemy, while search was made to right and left for some practicable point to assault. A spot which appeared somewhat easier than the rest having been discovered, the men gathered towards it, and, on the signal being given, the first line of defences was carried with a rush; the little Goorkhas of the 44th dashing forward most gallantly at the heels of their officers.
text: The portion of entrenchment thus won was that at the extreme north end of the village. It was enclosed on three sides by a stone revetted bank, surrounded by, and thickly set with, obstacles; on the top of this was a loopholed barricade five feet high. These were the defences just carried. The interior ( marked A in sketch No.2), SKETCH SEE a level space of no great extent, contained two houses and a square stone tower some fifteen feet in height. On the fourth side of the entrenchment, namely, that towards the village, was a stone wall (37) and barricade defensible from the interior; beyond was and open space, on the further side of which rose a stonefaced scarp surmounted by a loopholed stockade. The two together were nearly twelve feet high, and formed the enemy's second line of defence. To right and left the first line of defence was continued to the flanks of the scarp and beyond it, forming the outer walls of the village ( see sketch 2). SKETCH SEE
text: The storming party now got cover under the wall facing the enemy, and from that position and from the tower commenced a heavy fire on the stockade, steadily replied to by the Nagas behind it, who showed no signs of weakness or retreat.