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: destruction of the Chaka forts
medium: reports
person: Sherriff/ Col.Boileau/ Lt.Mansel/ Lt.Nation/ Gen.Williamson/ Capt.DeBrett /Lt. Col.
location: Mezema (Mozima) Kohima Khonoma (Konoma)
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: Twenty days's provisions for six hundred men had now been collected at Konoma, and on the 14th March Colonel Sherriff with one hundred rifles of the 42nd were sent to Kohima to reinforce the garrison there: orders were issued to patrol continually so as to keep the people in Chaka shut up as closely as possible.
text: On the 15th March the Kigwima detachment was recalled, and Jotsoma occupied with a hundred rifles of the 43rd and 44th Native Infantry, thus more effectually cutting off the Chaka forts from communication with the villages to the east. This was followed up on the 19th by the establishment of another post of the same strength at Mozima, under Lieutenant Boileau, 44th Sylhet Light Infantry. A close cordon was now being drawn round three sides of the Chaka position. On the fourth was the inaccessible scarp of the main Barel range. ( General Nation's No. 104, Movements, dated Konoma, 22nd April 1880.)
text: On the 17th March a strong reconnaissance was made on the Basoma ridge by detachments from Konoma and Jotsoma under Colonel Sherriff, who reported the enemy's position practically impregnable. There was a spot, however, from which the enemy's water supply appeared to be commanded at a range of five hundred yards. Lieutenant Mansel, R.A., also found a good position for his guns, but no nearer to the Chaka intrenchments than that previously examined. The range was not less than fifteen hundred yards.
text: Head quarters moved to Konoma on the 22nd March. General Nation personally reconnoitred the enemy's position, and came to the same conclusion as Colonel Sherriff; he therefore felt himself obliged to abandon all idea of assaulting the stockades, and awaited with impatience the arrival of the wing 18th Native Infantry to enable him to take up such positions on the west and east of Chaka as would effectually hem in the enemy. The 18th Native Infantry should have already reached the front, but had been delayed by the weather. It had rained heavily day and night since the 15th, and the roads were much damaged. Now, however (22nd), it showed signs of clearing, and it was hoped the 18th Native Infantry would be up by the 24th March.
text: On the same day that head quarters were transferred to Konoma, Captain Williamson, political officer, established himself in the neighbouring village of Mozima. On his arrival there he found awaiting him a deputation from the Nagas in Chaka who came to renew negotiations.
text: Pending the result of Captain Williamson's diplomacy, the guns were moved up to Jotsoma, in readiness to be placed in position on the Basoma ridge, should the enemy continue to hold out. (58)
text: On the 24th March the detachment 18th Native Infantry under Lieutenant Colonel DeBrett marched into Sachima, and the same day Captain Williamson announced that the Nagas had accepted the terms offered, and had given up eleven firearms as a sign of good faith.
text: Nevertheless, as they were somewhat dilatory in fulfilling the conditions imposed, the Basoma ridge was occupied on the morning of the 26th March, the guns placed in position, and a hundred men of the 18th Native Infantry brought up to Konoma. This demonstration had the desired effect, and on the afternoon of the same day Captain Williamson reported the complete submission of the enemy.
text: The Chaka position, which had defied us since the 22th November, was evacuated on the 27th March. On the following day it was taken possession of by a detachment of the 44th Sylhet Light Infantry. Demolition was commenced at once, and continued until the whole of the enemy's works were destroyed.
text: On the 30th, Captain Abbott's post at Paplongmai was reduced by fifty men, but it was not yet thought advisable to recall it altogether, as it prevented the Konoma men from flying bodily to the Katcha Naga country. It was thought possible they might do this rather than surrender their cherished firearms.