The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: transport and supplies
caption: ponies
medium: reports
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: It being found difficult to enlist coolies, the Director General of Transport proposed to substitute ponies and mules. A somewhat lengthy correspondence ensued, which mainly turned upon the question whether the road between Piphima and Kohima was practicable for ponies or not. General Nation, who was on the spot, and to whom the matter was of most importance, averred it was not practicable, and that ten to fifteen days' work would be required to make it so, when labour could be procured. As the coolie corps was intended to provide labour otherwise unprocurable, this point seemed rather difficult to get over, and it appears to have been solved by setting the troops to make the road after the conclusion of operations in the field. However, it was at last settled that the transport corps should consist of 300 ponies (considered to be equivalent to 900 men) and 200 coolies. The latter were, the Brigadier-General pointed out, absolutely necessary as moveable column equipment, to enable the troops to undertake operations, or even to advance in any direction beyond the limit of the pony path. These coolies were to be enlisted on the same conditions as those previously approved, and with the same organisation, modified only as rendered necessary by diminished numbers. (5)
text: The ponies were purchased by the Bengal Government. The Executive Commissariat Officer, Rangoon, was also directed to purchase as many Burmese ponies as he could at Rs. 80 to Rs. 100 each. No great number, however, could be procured at Rangoon, as the time of year (January) was too late.
text: Each pony was to be strong and easily able to carry 2 1/2 maunds (200 lbs.) in the hills. Age not to be under 4 or over 12 years.
text: A pony's ration was fixed by the Commissariat at-
text: 3 seers gram.
text: 7 " dry or - grass.
text: 10 " green
text: 1/2 oz. salt.
text: Two hundred water-proof sheets, size 6x3 feet, were sanctioned for the transport train ponies.