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: transport problems
medium: reports
person: Johnstone/ Lt. Col.Williamson/ Capt.MacGregor/ Lt.
location: Zubza R. (Zumha R.) Priphema (Pipima) Samaguting
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: On the 7th December, a party of fifty rifles, scouting in the jungle between Basoma and Jotsoma, had a skirmish with the enemy, in which two Nagas were killed,
text: The question of transport now began to claim attention. It has been already noted that the coolie corps proposed by His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief at the commencement of the expedition was not set on foot by Brigadier General Nation, as it seemed to him that the arrangements made by the local authorities were likely to work well. Difficulties, however, had now begun to arise. The continued employment on transport duty of an Inspector General of Police and six superior police officers, besides one hundred and thirty constables, was objected to by the Chief Commissioner of Assam as seriously detrimental to general administration. At the same time General Nation reported that the transport arrangements made by the civil authorities were found to work very imperfectly, and it was accordingly arranged between the General and the Political Officers, Lieutenant Colonel Johnstone and Captain Williamson, that the principal commissariat officer with the force should take over the whole of the transport ( consisting of elephants, coolies, and a few ponies) from Golaghat to Pipima. From Pipima to the front the Chief Political Officer was to arrange for carriage by friendly Nagas.
text: On the 8th December Lieutenant Macgregor, Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General, was sent down the Golaghat road to inspect the posts, and establish coolie depots at the Zumha river camp, and at the Nichi guard. ( Called by General Nation " a post on the Diffoo (Diphu) river, three miles below Samaguting." It is placed on the map at some distance from the river.) To the latter post Lieutenant MacGregor was also directed to remove the garrison of Samaguting, notorious for its unhealthiness; and the old station was thus left in charge of police only.
text: Although the troops were continually employed in scouring the country, the Nagas infested the jungles, and frequently harassed the line of communication. On the 8th December a commissariat weighman was shot dead close to Phipima, and a Mikir coolie, coming in a convoy to the same place, was mortally wounded.