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: carriage of supplies to troops
medium: reports
person: Nation/ Brig. Gen.Wingate/ Lt.
location: Priphema (Piphima)
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: On the 15th December Brigadier General Nation reported that supplies, previously deficient for want of carriage to bring them forward, were beginning to come to the front, and that the transport was working better. From this time forward there appears to have been no difficulty in getting supplies and stores as far as Piphima. It was from that point to the front that the strain was felt, owing to there being no other means of transport than coolies obtained through the political authorities. In the same report the General stated that the wounded continued to do well, but that the troops generally were unhealthy, (45) dysentery, fever and bowel complaints being prevalent. He attributed this to the hard work and exposure the men were undergoing; the average number of nights in bed being only 1.63.
text: Rumours were now current among the " friendly" Nagas that the enemy had partially evacuated the Chaka position, and were taking refuge in the Katcha Naga villages. These rumours were inaccurate; though the Nagas in Chaka appear to have frequently visited the Katcha Naga country in search of supplies, and they were no doubt somewhat pressed for food. On the night of the 14th they carried away a quantity of partially burnt and charred " dhan" from the neighbourhood of Konoma, and the next night they attacked the advanced picquet sharply, with the object of obtaining possession of more dhan under cover of the engagement and of darkness; and in this they succeeded.
text: At Konoma the work of demolition continued ( it was two months before it was completed), and the garrison strengthened their position by constructing abatis and clearing the ground towards the water supply. The Nagas in Chaka, who had also their picquets and advanced posts, frequently skirmished with the garrison of Konoma, to hinder the destruction of their houses, defensive works, and laboriously built stone terraces.
text: In accordance with the arrangements previously noted, the transport between Golaghat and Piphima was taken over from the civil authorities on the 1st December. On the 19th of the same month Lieutenant Wingate, Principal Commissariat Officer, went down towards Dimapur to perfect the system, which was already giving more satisfactory results.