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: retrenchment and evacuation of Konoma; Chaka forts
medium: reports
person: Raban/ Lt.Evans/ Maj.Henderson/ Lt.Williamson/ Capt.
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: As nothing more could be done that day, and darkness was fast closing in, the General determined to remain all night on the ground already won. He hoped by morning to obtain a fresh supply of gun ammunition, and determined then to renew the assault from both sides. The Manipur coolies were accordingly set to work, under the direction of Lieutenant Raban, R.E., to put the position occupied in a state of defence; and by 7-30 P.M. this was accomplished, and the men were enabled to take a meal. The detachment of 43rd Assam Light Infantry under Major Evans, and that of the 44th under Lieutenant Henderson, were also recalled, and were fortunately able to reach the main body in safely, about 8 o'clock. The former was guided by Captain Williamson, Assistant Political, whose local knowledge was here, and on other occasions, of considerable value. Major Evans left twenty rifles to hold the small intrenchment captured in the morning.
text: Some apprehension was entertained of a counterattack by the enemy under cover of the darkness; and, although the small force was now concentrated, and in a fairly secure position, such an event would have been very undesirable. However, between 9 and 10 o'clock in the evening, the Nagas fired the stockades and houses in the upper village, and a reconnaissance at daybreak showed that Konoma was entirely evacuated. It was soon ascertained that the enemy had moved about a mile up the spur to a high and strongly intrenched position, afterwards known as the "Chaka forts." ( See sketches opposite pages 57 and 43.) SKETCH SEE
text: The stoutness of the defence created surprise. It was indeed believed that several thousand men, the flower of the Angami race, were behind the walls and stockades of Konoma, and about half of these, it was supposed, were equipped with firearms, including many of our own sniders and enfields; but such preparations, and such stubborn resistance, were a new feature in Naga warfare. It was afterwards known that during the day the enemy made two attempts to break away in rear; but were each time driven back by a heavy fire from the detachments purposely placed to prevent their escape.
text: The loss of the Nagas was acknowledged by themselves to have been between seventy and eighty killed or seriously wounded. It is thought to have been greater. It is not known whether any of the actual murderers of Mr. Damant were among the killed. No prisoners were taken.
text: General Nation's Casualty Return is appended:-