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: efforts to take Konoma end in failure
medium: reports
person: Nation/ Gen.Nuttall/ Col.Cock/ Maj.Walker/ Maj.Ridgeway/ Lt.Raban/ Lt.Forbes/ Lt.Johnstone/ Lt. Col.Narain SingBoileau/ Lt.
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: It was now near five o'clock in the afternoon, and the handful of assailants had been fighting since 11 A.M. They had lost heavily, and were nearly exhausted by their exertions. The Brigadier General determined to make one last effort. It was explained to the men that the place must be taken before night; so all, both (38) officers and soldiers, nerved themselves for a final attempt. The three easiest looking places were selected, and then, in three bodies, led by nine European Officers ( Brigadier General Nation, Colonel Nuttall, Major Cock, Major Walker, Lieutenant Ridgeway, Lieutenant Raban, Lieutenant Boileau, Lieutenant Forbes, and Lieutenant Colonel Johnstone.) including the General himself, the gallant 44th once more rushed forward. With undaunted devotion the sepoys strove to lift and push one another over the defences, but every attempt to surmount the scarp and barricade failed. One man only, Narain Sing, Lieutenant Colonel Johnstone's orderly, reached the top of the stockade, and he was immediately pulled over and killed by the enemy inside. The assailants were too few, and their isolated efforts were everywhere met by overwhelming showers of stones and missiles of every description. In the centre Lieutenants Forbes and Ridgeway were struck down, the former by a spear descending from above, and the latter by a shot in the shoulder at ten paces distance. Discouraged by their losses, utterly exhausted, and convinced of the impossibility of carrying the defences without artillery or scaling ladders, the remnant of the 44th at last fell back. Major Cock was mortally wounded while retiring, and the Subadar Major of the 44th was shot dead while walking away close behind Colonel Nuttall.