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: organization of transport corps in the Naga Hills
medium: reports
person: Chambers/ Maj.
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: Major Chambers arrived at Golaghat on the 22nd March, and the first batches of ponies and coolies began to work from about that date. The non-arrival of saddlery delayed operations somewhat, and it was not until the 10th April, just three months after the first proposals were submitted by the Commander-in-Chief to the Government of India, that the whole three hundred ponies were at work. Even then, Major Chambers, writing on the 19th April, reports that the organisation of the corps was not completed, as all the coolies had not arrived.
text: Active operations in the Naga Hills ceased about the end of March, although the Field Force was not formally broken up till the 22nd April. Financial considerations induced the Government of India, in the Military Department, to commence enquiries on the 4th April as to what modifications (i.e., reductions) in the transport service might now be introduced, and when the special arrangements ( transport corps) might be dispensed with?
text: It unfortunately happened that, though the Naga expedition was over ( the transport corps having been organised too late to be of any direct assistance), the task of placing in the hills six months' provisions for 1,600 souls had still to be encountered. There was also the possibility of minor military operations being necessary, when the collection of revenue was commenced after the rains. The country was destitute of supplies, even the rice having been all destroyed.
text: On the 15th of April Lieutenant Wingate, Principal Commissariat Officer, writes: " Owing to the transport having been throughout the expedition only sufficient to supply the daily wants of the troops, the collection of six months' supplies for the Naga Hills garrison has been impossible. That work therefore remains to be accomplished, and even by keeping the present transport in statuo quo, and working it to its fullest capabilities, it is very doubtful whether such a large quantity can be got forward before the burst of the monsoon." ( Lieutenant Wingate, No. 930 (Transport ), Piphima, 15th April 1880.)
text: On the 12th April Captain Williamson, Chief Political Officer, writes: " It is rather premature now to consider the question when the coolie corps and transport can be dispensed with, as up to the present time neither have reached the front, or done any part of the work for which they were engaged. Major Michell will be in a better position to judge of the advisability of dispensing with these corps when six months' supplies are laid in.
text: The Political Agent will have a good deal of work next cold weather, when there is a prospect of some cause for the employment of the troops arising, so it is desirable the transport and coolies should be maintained." ( Captain Williamson, Mozima, 12th April 1880.)