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: construction of godowns for stores; transport of ammunition
medium: reports
person: Mansel/ Lt.
location: Golaghat Dimapur Pherima Kohima
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: To shelter stores in the rainy season it has been found necessary to build godowns at Golaghat, Dimapur, Pherima Pani, and Kohima. If elephants are again employed as transport for an expedition, it would be advisable to erect sheds at each stage as a protection against the weather. One shed was put up at Golaghat, but there was no shelter at the other stages. The improvised division of 7-pr. M.L.R. guns under Lieutenant Mansel, R.A., was brought up from Nikriting to Sachima on elephants. The distance is 111 miles, and it was accomplished in 8 days- an average rate of marching of 14 miles a day, which must be considered very good progress indeed under the circumstances. But Lieutenant Mansel was compelled to leave at Golaghat 126 rounds of ammunition out of 300 rounds, and 20 rockets out of 80, as the 18 elephants handed over to him at Nikriting proved too small to carry full loads, and he considered it necessary to reduce the burden of each elephant by one-third.
text: After arrival at Sachima, guns, ammunition, and rockets were carried in all operations by coolies. Kuki coolies were used for the first and last time at the attack on Konoma, and they behaved extremely well. On the 4th December 24 kahars were told off to carry the guns. They proved very bad carriers in such a hilly country, and the marches were often much delayed in consequence, but they behaved fairly well under fire. These kahars remained with the division throughout the expedition, and being trained by Lieutenant Mansel, the delay at first experienced in getting the guns into action was soon materially lessened. The ammunition and rockets were always transported by Naga coolies, caught, when required, by political officers in so-called friendly villages. The Nagas were unwilling carriers, and Lieutenant Mansel reports that they threw down their loads and run under cover whenever shots were fired. Naga coolies will only carry on the back, and when boxes of ammunition are so transported through heavy rain there is danger of water entering under the lids.
text: In the Duffla Expedition 30 men of the coolie corps were told off to carry the guns - and 34 to the ammunition and stores. Detail will be found on page 11.
text: Tarpaulins are not sufficient to protect ammunition from damp in the Naga Hills. Magazines should be constructed at all posts or standing camps.
text: Reserve small arm ammunition did not generally accompany the troops, as that in the pouches was considered sufficient for all purposes. The small column which marched through the eastern Angami country ( see page 47 of the Report) was supplied with reserve ammunition to the extent of 60 rounds per man. It was carried by Goorkha coolies in leathern cases, each containing 300 rounds. The Goorkha coolies behaved well. When ammunition was transported from one camp or post to another it was carried in the usual boxes, each containing 560 rounds, and weighing 35 seers. The Naga coolies generally employed were wholly untrustworthy. The boxes could not be covered with tarpaulins on the march, owing to the extra weight, but the ammunition did not suffer. ( Brigadier-General Nation's No. 786, dated Shillong, 25th September 1880.)