The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: British fall back to Sachima
medium: reports
person: Chetonuma KhelMacGregor/ Lt.Walker/ Maj.
location: Khonoma (Konoma) Jotsoma Sachema (Sachima) Priphema (Piphima) Sephima Kohima Cheswezumi (Cheswejuma) Viswema (Viswima) Zhakhama (Jakoma) Kigwema (Kigwima) Chedema (Cheduma)
date: 24.11.1879
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: Konoma, the first objective of the expedition was now in our possession; nevertheless, the situation was far from satisfactory. The warriors who had so stoutly defended the village were still undismayed, and the men of Konoma itself were close at hand in the Chaka intrenchments, a position of even greater strength than that which they had abandoned. The fighting men of the other Angami villages openly in arms against us, supposed to be twelve in addition to Konoma, ( Namely, Jotsoma, Sachima, Piphima, Sephima, the Chetonoma Khel of Kohima, Cheswejuma, Viswima, Jakoma, Kigwima, Cheduma, Phesama, and Merima. ) had mostly betaken themselves, it was found, to their homes, but not certainly with the intention of remaining there in quietude. In front, therefore, of our small force was a very strong position, which, after the experience gained at Konoma, it would have been madness to assault with the four hundred and fifty rifles or so remaining at the disposal of the Brigadier General. In rear, was a line of communication nearly one hundred miles in length, through a most difficult country, and about thirty miles of which was exposed to the attacks of hostile Nagas. Previous experience showed such attacks might now be expected to commence, and that they were most difficult to guard against or repel. Failing a direct attack on the Chaka position, the only methods of compelling submission on the part of the enemy were-(1) to blockade Chaka and starve out the defenders; (2) to hold Chaka in check, and destroy in detail the hostile villages all over the country; (3) to destroy the crops of the enemy and capture their cattle.
text: For the first and second operations, the force was manifestly insufficient; and, until the arrival of reinforcements, it was only possible to damage the enemy as much as possible, and prevent them reoccupying the sites of villages which had been already destroyed. It was accordingly determined to retire the main body of the troops to Sachima, holding Konoma with a strong detachment.
text: On the 24th November, the wounded were sent back in charge of Lieutenant MacGregor, Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General. Next day the head quarters and main body followed. The Konoma garrison, of two hundred rifles, 44th Sylhet Light Infantry, under Major Walker, was posted in one of the enemy's intrenchments, spared for that purpose from the general demolition.