(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Lushai expedition, 1871-1872"

% 





ts&.t /7s-s-j/ ~^//y/ ////,. 



(*rt ( r.j/ 



THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 



THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION, 



1871 1872. 






BY 



11. G. WOOD THORPE, 
it 

LIEUT. EOYAL ENGINEEBS. 




VONOLEL'S TOMB. 



LONDON : 
HURST AND BLACKETT, PUBLISHERS, 

13, GREAT MAKLBOEOUGH STEEET. 
1873. 



All rights reserved. 



u 












M* ' 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE NORTH EASTERN FRONTIER HISTORICAL RETROSPECT- 
POLICY OF CONCILIATION FORMER EXPEDITIONS ANNEXA- 
TION OF CACHAR PROPER TEA-GARDENS THE KOOKIE 
TRIBE FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE LUSHAIS CHIEF LALAL 
HIS FOUR SONS RAIDS IN SYLHET, CACHAR, &C. COLONEL 
LISTER'S EXPEDITION. ..... 1 

CHAPTER II. 

GNURSHAILON'S RAID CAPTAIN STEWART TREATY WITH 
SUKPILAL RENEWAL OF COMPLICATIONS CAPTIVES DE- 
TAINED REPEATED INROADS OF THE LUSHAI MR. BAKER'S 
EXPEDITION HIS DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY DEATHS 

OF SOME OF THE CHIEFS ATTACKS ON VARIOUS TEA- 
GARDENS - 19 



513.130 



11 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER III. 

EXPEDITION OF 1871 COLONEL BABAN'S RECOMMENDATIONS- 
GENERAL BOURCHIER THE ROUTE RELATIONS WITH THE 
RAJAH OF MUNIPUR BURMESE INVASIONS VICISSITUDES 
OF MUNIPUR MAJOR-GENERAL NUTHALL INROADS OF 
THE EASTERN LUSHAI CHIEFS . . . .37 

CHAPTER IV. 

THE TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY OF INDIA COOLIES CACHAR 
MUNIPUR HORSE-DEALERS HOCKEY-PLAYERS UNCOM- 
FORTABLE MODE OF RIDING PRESENT FOR A CHIEF TEA- 
GARDENSNATIVE IDOLS THE MONIERKHAL STOCKADE 
RUMOURS OF A THREATENED ATTACK CURIOUS DIS- 
COVERY . . . . . . .50 

CHAPTER V. 

THE LUSHAIS CHARACTERISTICS OF THREE PRINCIPAL TRIBES 
FEATURES AND COMPLEXION MUSCULAR STRENGTH IN- 
TELLECTUAL APTITUDE COSTUME PERSONAL ADORNMENT 
A LUSHAI EXQUISITE PRACTICE OF SMOKING TOBACCO 
WATER WEAPONS GUNPOWDER . . . .69 

CHAPTER VI. 

% 

LUSHAI VILLAGES CONSTRUCTION OF THE HOUSES INTERNAL 

ARRANGEMENTS WINDOWS STOCKADES NATIVE WINE 

1 BASKET-MAKING DOMESTIC ANIMALS CURIOUS MACHINE 

FOR ENTRAPPING GAME AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS 

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS A SMITH'S FORGE . 81 



CONTENTS. Ill 

CHAPTER VII. 
\ 

LEFT COLUMN OF THE EXPEDITION THE COMMISSARIAT DE- 
PARTMENT POLITICAL OFFICER SILCHAR THE ARTILLERY 
AND SAPPERS FIRST CASUALTY OF THE CAMPAIGN ROUTE 
FROM SILCHAR TO MYNADHUR APPEARANCE OF THE 
COUNTRY DIFFICULTIES OF THE MARCH . . 95 

CHAPTER VIII. 

MYNADHUR THE TELEGRAPH A DAILY POST ESTABLISHED 
ROUTE TO TIPAI MUKH SCENERY ON THE BARAK TRIAL 
OF ELEPHANTS ENCAMPMENT THE GOORKHAS VARIOUS 
STATIONS TIPAI MUKH - BRIDGE BUILT BY KOOKIES A 
NATIVE SAPPER THE COMMISSARIAT FLEET OF BOATS A 
LUSHAI IDEA . . x . . . 109 

CHAPTER IX. 

VILLAGE SITES RUMOURS DARPONG THE SENVONG RANGE 
FIRST VIEW OF THE LUSHAI COUNTRY EXTRAORDINARY HILL 
SYMBOLIC WARNINGS TO THE TROOPS WEIR FOR CATCHING 
FISH ATTEMPTS TO STOP THE ADVANCE A SKIRMISH 
CHRISTMAS DAY. . . . . . .127 

CHAPTER X. 

TEMPORARY CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES THE LUSHAI AC- 
COUNT OF THE KHOLEL AFFAIR DIFFICULTY OF COMMUNI- 
CATING WITH THE NATIVES A GUIDE FOR THE SURVEY 
OFFICERS THE MUNIPUR CONTINGENT POIBOl'S PRESENTS 
EVENTS AT TIPAI MUKH LUSHAI ATTACK. 145 



IV CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XL 

PROGRESS OF THE HEAD-QUARTERS AT. WORK ON THE ROAD 
A DESERTED VILLAGE UNCOMFORTABLE NIGHT AN EMIS- 
SARY FROM SUKPILAL THE CAMP AT CHEPUI POIBOIS 
THE SENIVAI GUARD VILLAGES THE KHOLEL RANGE 163 

CHAPTER XII. 

SITE OF THE VILLAGE OF KHOLEL VOUPILAL'S TOMB ENGLOOM 
THE HEAD-MAN OF CHEPUI SWEARING ETERNAL FRIEND- 
SHIP ARTISTIC JUDGMENT DISTRIBUTION OF TROOPS 
MIDNIGHT PARLEYS ATTEMPTED DECEPTION LUSHAI WINE 
APPRECIATED VILLAGE LIFE. . . . .177 

CHAPTER XIII. 

MORE SYMBOLIC WARNINGS DESIGNS OF THE LUSHAI CHIEFS 
RECONNOITERING DARPONG ORDER OF MARCH FIGHT WITH 
THE LUSHAIS SMALL BUT FORMIDABLE STOCKADE THE 
LUSHAIS TAKEN IN FLANK CASUALTIES NARROW ESCAPE 
OF THE GENERAL ... . 195 

CHAPTER XIV. 

COUNCIL OF THE CHIEFS OUR WEAK POINT KUNGNUNG THE 
LENGTENG RANGE ADVANCE OF THE TROOPS A STRONG 
STOCKADE A DETOUR ARTILLERY PRACTICE EFFECT OF 
SHELLS STRIKING SCENE A CURIOUS GRAVE . . 211 



CONTENTS. V 

CHAPTER XV. 

TELEGRAM FROM CACHAR RESCUE OF MARY WINCHESTER 
FIGHT OF LUSHAIS AND CLASSIS ESCAPE OF A LUSHAI 
PRISONER A DISTURBER OF THE CAMP TOUCHING SCENE 
THE SAIVAR POIBOl'S STRONGHOLD A CURIOUS HUNT- 
ALARM OF FIRE A THOUGHTFUL BOY. . . . 227 

CHAPTER XVI. 

THE TROOPS ENCAMPED LALBOORA'S GATE A VISIT TO NATIVE 
VILLAGERS TELESCOPES DIFFICULTY OF OBTAINING PHOTO- 
GRAPHSCAPTIVES PLACED UNDER OUR PROTECTION THE 
MUNIPUR CONTINGENT POIBOl'S VACILLATION LUSHAI 
FORTIFICATIONS A LUSHAI TODTLEBEN . . . 245 

CHAPTER XVII. 

THE TRUE POIBOI DEFENCES OF THE VILLAGE OF TULCHENG 
SCARCITY OF WATER ROMANTIC STORY OF TWO CHILDREN 
VALLEY OF THE LUI-TAO HEAVY FIRING HEARD LETTER- 
WRITING UNDER DIFFICULTIES INGENIOUSLY CONSTRUCTED 
GATE . . . . . . ... 263 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

VONOLEL'S VILLAGE VONOLEL'S TOMB - PLEASING TRAIT IN A 
DOCTOR BUILDING OPERATIONS CONDITIONS OF PEACE 

FRATERNISING MADAME RACHEL'S WIDELY SPREAD REPU- 
TATION OUR INTERCOURSE WITH THE LUSHAIS LIGHTING 
PIPES EXPERIMENTS WITH THE BURNING GLASS . 279 



VI CONTENTS. . 

CHAPTER XIX. 

DELIVERY OF THE FINE DIFFICULTY IN COLLECTING THE 
MUSKETS ACCEPTABLE CHANGE OF DIET THE COMMISSA- 
RIAT AUSTRALIAN MUTTON A COOLIE TRICK LUSHAI 
RAIDS THE TRAGEDY AT BLAIR RETURN MARCH . 295 

CHAPTER XX. 

WITHDRAWAL OF THE TROOPS SECOND HALT DISTRIBUTION 
OF PRESENTS DARPONG'S WATCH CABULI FRUIT-SELLERS 
LUSHAI ENTERTAINMENT APPEARANCE OF THE COUNTRY 
DAK ARRANGEMENTS THE RESCUED CAPTIVES COOLIE 
ENTERTAINMENTS RETURN TO TIPAI MUKH PROFITABLE 
COMMERCE ....... 307 

CHAPTER XXI. 

HARDSHIPS OF THE CAMPAIGN DEATH OF TWO OFFICERS 
INDISPOSITION OF THE GENERAL RAVAGES OF CHOLERA 
THE MUNIPUR CONTINGENT CONFERENCE PRECAUTIONS 
AGAINST TREACHERY SEIZURE OF CHIEFS FALSE PRE- 
DICTION ORDER TO THE TROOPS CONCLUD^ >a REMARKS o^l 



The Author's Route. 
Mr. Edgar's Route, 1869. 
Col. Lister's Route, 1849. 
General Nuthall's Route, 1869. 
Mr. Baker's Route, 1869. 




MAP showing the country passed through by the LEFT COLUMN OF THE LTJSHAI 
EXPEDITIONARY FORCE, 1871-72, and the Routes taken in former Expeditions. 



CHAPTER I. 



THE NORTH-EASTERN FRONTIER HISTORICAL RETROSPECT 
POLICY OF CONCILIATION FORMER EXPEDITIONS ANNEXA- 
TION OF CACHAR PROPER TEA-GARDENS THE KOOKIE TRIBE 
FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE LUSHAIS CHIEF LALAL HIS 
FOUR SONS RAIDS IN SYLHET, CACHAR, &C. COLONEL 
LISTER'S EXPEDITION. 



CHAPTER I. 

rPHE North-eastern frontier of India has 
ever been a fruitful source of trouble and 
expense to the Government of this Empire. 
The history of each district on this frontier, 
whether prior or subsequent to its annex- 
ation as a portion of British territory, is 
almost the same. Bordered by, or forming part 
of hill districts, inhabited by fierce and predatory 
tribes for ever making raids on their neighbours' 
villages, burning and plundering them, and 
carrying off the inhabitants it was not to be 
supposed that those under our protection should 
escape. 

When, in consequence of outrages on British 
subjects, the Indian Government has been forced 

B 2 



THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

to take steps for their protection, its policy 
towards the offenders lias generally been one of 
conciliation rather than retaliation. The success 
which has usually followed the adoption of this 
policy seems to be the best argument in its 
favour. 

While, at the same time, establishing and 
maintaining frontier guards to check any out- 
rage as far as possible, annual payments are 
made to the chiefs of tribes, or, in the case 
of a democracy to the community not in order 
to enable them to organize among themselves a 
force for the preservation of order, but that the 
well-disposed among them may influence the 
more turbulent spirits to the prevention of any 
infringement of the treaties or agreements made 
with them on granting the annual allowances. 

On the annexation of a district, the rights of 
the Hill men are always scrupulously respected, 
any losses they sustain being made good to them ; 
and by opening up fresh avenues of trade and 
commerce to them, they are led to see that a 
peaceable attitude towards us is more profitable 
for themselves than one of aggression. 



UNCIVILIZED TRIBES. 5 

The allowances to those over whom we do 
not assume government, are supposed, in the 
words of the Indian Government itself, " to 
be sufficient to compensate the tribes, in their 
own estimation, for the advantage they might 
gain by the occasional plunder of a border 
village an advantage which they well know is 
materially qualified by the risk of reprisals." 

It appears that in the last century some fierce 
tribes, who had been the terror of the surround- 
ing country, and whom successive military 
expeditions had failed to subdue, were induced 
by an annual payment, conditional on good 
conduct, to become quiet and peaceable neigh- 
bours. 

" What is of the utmost importance in dealing 
with uncivilized tribes is patience. No one 
supposes that their civilization is to be effected 
in a few years, and no one expects that, in 
endeavouring to conciliate them, the Govern- 
ment will not meet with occasional disappoint- 
ment ; but the policy is none the less on this 
account sound and intelligible." 

Thus spoke Government in 1865, and the 



6 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION 

policy thus indicated will be carried out with 
reference to the Lushais. Of course, a policy 
of conciliation would be ineffectual, without im- 
pressing on the tribes a conviction of our power 
to punish them if necessary; and in many 
cases, as in the present instance, we have been 
obliged to do so before adopting this policy 
of peace. 

The Government does not wish to extermi- 
nate these frontier tribes, but by converting 
them into our allies to raise a barrier between 
our frontier districts and other more distant 
races. Supposing a tribe to be utterly crushed 
or exterminated, we should find ourselves no 
better off than before probably much worse, 
having merely removed obstacles to the assaults 
of a fiercer and more formidable foe, whose 
very remoteness would render it difficult for us 
to conciliate or punish him. 

I do not propose to enter into an account 
of the raids or consequent expeditions which 
have been made at various times in the different 
districts of our North-eastern frontier, but con- 
fine myself to a brief narrative of those which 



CACHAR PKOPER. / 

have taken place in Cachar since its annexation ; 
as to avenge the late raids there, and by securing 
the peace of that frontier, to enable the tea- 
planters, on Government grants, and their 
labourers, to follow their occupation in safety, 
were the objects proposed by Government to 
the Commanders of the Lushai Expedition of 
1871-72. 

The district of Cachar Proper, as it is called, 
was annexed to the British dominions about 
1832, after the death of its legitimate rajah, 
Gobind Chundra. It is bounded on the north 
by the hills known as the North Cachar Hills; 
on the west by the British district of Sylhet; 
on the east by the western bank of the Jiri 
River to its junction with the Barak, near 
Luckipur, and thence by the western bank of 
the Barak as far as Tipai Mukh, where a stone 
pillar, erected by the Revenue Survey, marks 
the tri-junction of Munipur, Cachar, and the 
Lushai hillls. The coast boundary line on the 
south is still rather indefinite. 

The whole of the Northern half of Cachar is 
more or less under cultivation at present, and 



8 THE LUSHA1 EXPEDITION. 

well populated. The country is tolerably 
level, broken here and there by low tilas (small 
hills) of about two hundred feet in height, and 
intersected by the Sonai, Hukni, and Dullesur 
rivers, which, rising in- the southern hills, flow 
through Cachar to join the Barak. Large bheels, 
or swamps, high grass jungle, and bad roads, 
however, render communication between the 
different gardens a matter of some diffi- 
culty. 

To the East rises the great Buban range, 
which, commencing a little south of Luckipur, 
and running nearly parallel to the general course 
of the Barak towards the southern boundary 
of Cachar, attains at several points an eleva- 
tion of four thousand feet, and is clothed 
throughout with thick forest jungle. 

A few of the Lushai ranges rise in the south 
of Cachar. These are the Noonvai and Reng- 
tipahar, and on the western boundary the lofty 
range of the Chatarchara; but between these 
the whole of South Cachar is a succession of 
dangerous swamps and low broken ranges, 
covered with the densest jungle. 



TEA-GARDENS. 

The tea-gardens, which were originally con- 
fined to the northern part of the district, have 
of late years been sweeping further and further 
south, as enterprising individuals have been 
found to take grants from Government for the 
cultivation of the tea-plant. 

These isolated gardens, small clearings in 
the heart of the jungles, possessing few means 
of communication with the outer world, offer 
peculiar temptations to raiders ; especially as in 
the bungalows of many of the planters are 
kept large stands of ancient guns, to inspire 
confidence in the labourers in the gardens, but 
to obtain possession of which the Lushais would 
think few efforts and sacrifices too great; and 
it is in these gardens, as we shall see, that the 
principal outrages have of late years been com- 
mitted. 

The lofty hills to the south of Munipur, 
Cachar, and a portion of the territory to the 
south-west of Cachar, known as Independent or 
Hill Tipperah, have been held by various families 
of the Kookie tribe from the earliest times of 
which we have any record. 



10 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

The name Kookie has been given to this great 
tribe, as Mr. Edgar tells us, by the Bengalis, 
and is not recognized by the Hillmen them- 
selves. He says : 

" I have never found any trace of a common 
name for the tribe among them, although they 
seem to consider different families as belonging 
to a single group, which is certainly coex- 
tensive with what we call the Kookie tribe." 

The principal families with whom we first 
came in contact, were the Tangune, Chausels, 
Ladoe", and Poitoo Kookies. All authorities 
agree in stating that from a very early period, 
the tribes to the south have been gradually 
driving one another in a northern direction ; 
formerly the Buban Hills and a portion of South 
Cachar were occupied by some members of a 
race called JNagas ; but these were obliged, by the 
Tangunes, to withdraw to the North Cachar hills. 

The Tangunes, occupying their ground, were 
in their turn dispossessed and driven to the 
northern hills by the Chausels and Ladoes. 
These have likewise been compelled to retire 
northward by the Lushais. 



THE LUSHAIS. 11 

The Poitoo Kookies inhabited the hills on 
each side of the valley of the Gootur river, and 
were supposed to be more or less subject to 
the Rajah of Tipperah. The relations existing 
between the Poitoo chief and the Rajah were, 
however, repudiated on occasion by each. 

The Lushais first appeared on the scene 
about the year 1840, the first chief of whom 
we had any knowledge being Lalal ; from whom 
are descended the chiefs who have lately been 
the cause of so much anxiety to the Indian 
Government. 

He had four sons. Of these, when we first 
hear of them, Mongpir was struggling in the 
west against the Poitoos, to establish himself on 
the Chatarchara range; Lalingvoom was ruling 
the villages south of the hill known as Peak Z, 
in the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India; 
while Lalsavoong was striving with the Ladoes 
in the east for possession of the Chumfai valley 
and range to the north of it. 

In 1844, an attack was made on a village of 
Sylhet by some Poitoo Kookies, under a chief 
named Lalchokla, when twenty human heads 



12 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

and six live captives were carried off. It was 
said that the raid was made to procure heads 
to bury with a chief who had lately died. 

The Rajah of Tipperah was called upon by 
the Government to assist in punishing Lalchokla, 
and recovering the captives ; but as his co- 
operation was very unsatisfactory, and the steps 
he took manifestly inadequate to accomplish their 
object, a party of troops, under Captain Black- 
wood, proceeded via Koilashur, on the 1st of 
December, to attack Lalchokla' s village. 

Assisted by a Kookie chief, our troops ar- 
rived at the village and surrounded it, and by 
destroying the grain in the country around a the 
Poitoo chief was speedily reduced to submission, 
and surrendered on the 4th. He confessed to 
the raid, but professed ignorance of the fact 
that it had been made on British subjects. This 
plea of ignorance was not admitted, and he 
was eventually transported for life. 

It has been said that one of the conditions 
of his surrender was that his life would be 
spared. This he took to mean a free pardon ; 
consequently the Kookies looked upon his trans- 



EXPEDITION ORGANIZED. 13 

portation as a breach of faith on our part. This 
is alleged as one reason for the difficulty ex- 
perienced during the late Expedition in inducing 
chiefs to come in personally to make their sub- 
mission. 

We next hear, in November, 1849, of some 
raids made simultaneously in Sylhet, Tipperah, 
and Cachar. The raid in the latter district was 
made by Lalingvoom's son, Mora, on some 
Ladoe villages not far from the station ; and 
to punish these outrages an Expedition was 
organized, and the command entrusted to 
Colonel Lister, Political Agent in the Khasia 
Hills, and Commandant of the Sylhet Light 
Infantry. 

The Expedition started from Cachar on the 
4th of January, 1850, and marching nearly due 
south, on the 14th, arrived at the large village 
of Mora or Moolla, which Colonel Lister at once at- 
tacked and destroyed. Most of the inhabitants 
managed to escape, but about four hundred 
captives were released ; and proofs were found 
identifying the villagers with the Sylhet raiders. 
Colonel Lister remained a short time on the 



THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

range, but deeming his force too small for any 
further operations, he returned to Cachar on 
the 23rd. 

The Lushais, during his stay, annoyed him 
by firing into his camp, endeavouring to cut 
off his communications, and when he retired, 
followed him, killing any straggling coolies they 
came across. 

Colonel Lister considered that, in order to 
make a permanent impression on the tribes, a 
force of not less than three thousand men would 
be required, " and to command their villages, 
a road would have to be carried into the heart 
of the country, along one of the ridges of hills 
which ran north and south. As a protective 
measure, the establishment of armed outposts 
of friendly Kookies along the frontier was 
advocated." 

This question of opening a road through from 
end to end of the country, is again being urged 
upon Government as one of the first things 
necessary, in order to reap permanent ad- 
vantages from the success of this last expedition 
of 1871-72. 



COLONEL LISTER'S RECOMMENDATIONS. 15 

Colonel Lister also recommended the forma- 
tion of a Kookie levy to be employed as scouts 
in the southern jungles, to collect information 
concerning the Lushais, and the events which 
were occurring on the other side of our frontier, 
as well as to keep a watch over the Kookies in 
our own territory and Munipur. 

Government approved of all Colonel Lister's 
recommendations, and suggested opening up ne- 
gotiations with the Lushai Chief. The Kookie 
levy was raised in June, 1850. 

The special objects for which it was raised 
seem to have soon been lost sight of, as we find 
the establishment of the Kookie scouts abolished 
in 1860, and the levy handed over to the police. 
In the endeavour to make them well drilled 
soldiers, they gradually lost their special quali- 
fications as scouts and trackers, and the Kookie 
constables who accompanied the left column, 
proved utterly useless for the work which should 
have been theirs, and for which they were ex- 
pressly intended. 

The consequence of the abolition of a body of 
scouts was the increasing ignorance on the part 



10 THE LUSH AT EXPEDITION. 

of the authorities of what was going on among 
the Kookies and Lushais for information con- 
cerning whom they were obliged to rely upon 
one man, a Kookie, named Maujihow, who, as it 
has since been discovered, deceived them on 
several important occasions. 

The results, nevertheless, of Colonel Lister's 
Expedition were very great, as no raids occurred 
either in Sylhet or Cachar till 1862 ; and in the 
meantime negotiations had been conducted be- 
tween the Cachar authorities and the Lushai 
chiefs. 

In October, 1850, five Lushai chiefs sent de- 
puties into Cachar with friendly overtures to the 
Superintendent, who sent a party down to meet 
the Lushais. This party returned, accompanied 
by the Muntri (ambassador) of Sukpilal, the 
great chief of the Western Lushais. 

When the Lushais returned to their own country, 
the Superintendent sent an emissary with them, 
with friendly messages to the chief, and as- 
surances that if he went into Cachar he should 
not be injured nor detained. 

Sukpilal was supposed to have visited Cachar 



SUKPILAL. 17 

in December, but Mr. Edgar thinks, as this visit 
is denied by all the Kookies, that finding that 
presents would only be given to Sukpilal himself 
some one was got to personate that chief. The 
result, however, was the establishment of trading 
relations between the natives of Hyrapandy and 
the Lushais. 

In 1855, Sukpilal sent in to the Superin- 
tendent for assistance against some neighbour- 
ing chiefs. Government, however, refused to 
interfere in the quarrels of tribes living beyond 
our frontier. 

Mora also sent in a deputation for help to 
secure the exchange of prisoners between himself 
and the Munipuris, on whom some raids had been 
committed; and this help we were ready to 
afford him. 



CHAPTER II. 



GNURSHAILON'S RAID CAPTAIN STEWART TREATY WITH 

SUKPILAL RENEWAL OF COMPLICATIONS CAPTIVES DE- 
TAINEDREPEATED INROADS OP THE LTJSHAI MR. BAKER'S 
EXPEDITION HIS DESCRIPTION OP THE COUNTRY DEATHS 
OP SOME OP THE CHIEFS ATTACKS ON VARIOUS TEA- 
GARDENS. 



21 



CHAPTER II. 

ClINCE this time nothing seems to have 
occurred till January, 1862, when three 
villages were plundered and burnt in the neigh- 
bourhood of Adumpur, and evidence went to 
show that the leader in this outrage was 
Gnurshailon, son of Lalchokla, who had married 
a sister of Sukpilal. 

No steps were taken by Government till 1864, 
when four captives made their escape from 
Cachar, and from their statements it appeared 
that Sukpilal, and two other Poitoo chiefs, 
Rungboom and Lalltolien, were also implicated, 
and that many of the captives were living at 
that time in the villages of these chiefs. 

The local authorities desired an Expedition 



22 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

to be sent against them, but it was feared that this 
might bring down the Kookies on the tea-gardens, 
which are rapidly spreading south, and, before 
attempting force, Captain Stewart, the Deputy 
Commissioner was desired to open negotiations 
with Sukpilal to induce him to give up the 
captives in his possession. 

The latter sent his muntri to Captain Stewart. 
He admitted his guilt in the Adumpur matter, 
but said that some of the captives had been sold 
to the Pois, a powerful tribe to the south-east 
of Sukpilal's territory. 

Captain Stewart required the chief to come to 
him, bringing with him the captives, and swear 
friendship, on doing which he would receive fifty 
rupees a month, subject to a small annual tribute 
of certain specified articles. 

The muntri said that Sukpilal's son should go 
in, as the chief was too ill to move, and agreed 
to the other conditions. 

About the same time Captain Stewart con- 
cluded a similar treaty with Youpilal, son of Mora, 
who had succeeded his father as chief of the 
Kholal villages, whither the latter had removed 



CAPTAIN STEWAET. 23 

after the destruction of his village by Colonel 
Lister in 1850. 

A new rajah had in the meantime assumed 
the reigns of government in Tipperah, and to 
strengthen his position he offered to do all in 
his power to seize Gnurshailon and Sukpilal. 
His offer was, however, refused, as the negotia- 
tion with the latter seemed to promise fairly. 

In December, 1865, however, it was reported 
that Sukpilal had not given up the captives, and 
no satisfactory reason being given for this non- 
compliance with the terms of his agreement, an 
Expedition was organised to compel their re- 
lease. 

The rainy season setting in before it could 
start, the operations were postponed. During 
the rains, Captain Stewart was employed in in- 
quiring into the accessibility and position of Suk- 
pilal's villages. He considered that no approach 
could be made from the Chittagong side (this has 
since been proved to be a mistaken notion), 
and that at least four hundred men should be sent 
from Cachar. The idea of an Expedition was 
then abandoned. 



24 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Shortly after Sukpilal opened negotiations again, 
by sending in the annual presents, but no captives; 
but after much trouble four were at length sent in. 
Gnurshailon, it was said, through whom Sukpilal 
obtained muskets from Tipperah, prevented his 
sending in the others. Many of the captives 
were said to be married to Lushais, and unwilling 
to leave them. There was probably some truth 
in this statement, as we shall see from an incident 
which occurred during the late Expedition. 

Towards the close of ] 868, attacks were made 
on some Naga villages in Munipur, and Rung- 
boom's villages in Hill Tipperah. In the 
latter Sukpilal was supposed to be concerned; 
and at the same time the tea-gardens in South 
Cachar were threatened. 

On the 10th January, 1869, the Lushais, under 
a chief named Lalroom, Voupilal's brother-in- 
law, burnt the tea-garden of Nowarbund and 
killed some of the coolies, and another party 
under Deouti, on the 14th, attacked the Monir- 
khal garden, where there was a stockade and a 
police-guard; he succeeded in destroying the 
buildings and plundering the garden. 



PLAN OF OPERATIONS. 25 

Early in February an attack was made on 
the Kala JSTaga stockade by Lushais, under 
Lenkom. The stockade was taken, and a 
Munipur officer and some Sepoys killed. 

Voupilal and Sukpilal were suspected from 
the first, though the actual raiders were not 
discovered till afterwards, and an attempt was 
made to punish them. 

A large Expedition was set on foot, consist- 
ing of two forces of Military and Police, one 
intended to proceed up the Sonai to punish 
Voupilal, the other to reach Sukpilal by the 
Dullesur River. Th Rajah of Munipur was also 
to have co-operated from his side. 

These plans were altered considerably, and 
the Expedition was unsuccessful. The plan of 
operations to be carried out was this : Simul- 
taneously with the advance of the columns 
from Cachar, one composed principally of police 
under Mr. Baker, Deputy Inspector- General, 
was to march on Sukpilal from Koilashur 
through Rungboom's villages. 

The Cachar column, under General Nuthall, 
which proceeded up the Dullesur, was obliged 



26 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

by rain, to turn back, before reaching the 
enemy's country, having only proceeded three 
marches from the furthest tea-garden. 

Mr. Baker, whose orders were to effect a 
junction with the Dullesur column at Sukpilal's 
villages if possible, or if not to return by 
the shortest route to Sylhet, marched, from 
Koilashur towards the middle of February. 
Notwithstanding the failure of the Tipperah 
Eajah's Minister to assist him with carriage 
and food, in accordance with the orders re- 
ceived from the Eajah, notwithstanding also 
the heavy rains which delayed him several 
days, Mr. Baker succeeded in reaching the 
Lushai villages. 

On the way there, he passed the place 
where Eungboom's people had been treacher- 
ously killed by Lushais in December, and saw 
eleven skeletons in one spot. Rungboom him- 
self had escaped, but was pursued by the 
Lushais, who burnt his villages. They were 
repulsed by the police of the Adumpur 
guard, and compelled to retire, having killed 
about eighty or ninety persons. 



ME. BAKER'S COLUMN. 27 

On the 17th March, Mr. Baker's column 
arrived in sight of the Lushai villages, and 
there being no signs of the approach of that 
under General Nuthall, he determined, after 
consultation with his officers, to hold on for 
another day, and in the meantime to make a 
reconnaissance, to try to pick up some food, 
there being none then in camp. 

A brush with Lushais took place, and our 
men returned to camp in the evening. It 
being evident that the Dullesur column had not 
advanced for some reason or other, and that 
with the small force at his disposal, he could 
not hope to cope successfully with the whole 
tribe, Mr. Baker determined to fall back on 
the Depot in rear, and the retreat com- 
menced the next day. 

On the 21st, a telegram from Cachar informed 
him that General Nuthall and his column were 
back in Cachar, so there was nothing to do 
but to return with all speed to Sylhet. 

Mr. Baker describes the country passed 
through by his column, thus : 

" The country traversed by us was alto- 



28 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

gether hilly, we passed no morasses, and ex- 
cepting the forest lying between the Karruntah 
range and the banks of the Deo, the country 
was found to be high, dry, and free from 
malaria at this season.* 

" Small streams were met with at the bases 
of all the higher hills, and occasionally springs 
on the hill-sides not far from the tops of 
the ridges. The rivers crossed, the Munneo, 
Deo, Pakwa, &c., were from twenty to thirty 
yards wide, and about two or three feet 
deep, having firm sandy beds, easily forded; 
but in the rainy season they must become 
exceedingly deep and rapid streams. 

" Judging by their high steep banks, they are 
liable to great rises and sudden falls, and 
they are much blocked up with fallen timbers. 
On some of the ranges are sites of old Kookie 
villages, now overgrown with high grass, but 
there are still some fine trees left, among 
them a few lemon. 

" Game seemed to be abundant along the 
course of the rivers. Elephants are extremely 
numerous in these valleys, and there are 



APPEARANCE OP THE COUNTRY. 29 

deer, wild hogs, porcupines, and in the 
Langai valley rhinoceros are said to be found. 

" The principal ranges of hills run north 
and south, but between these the smaller 
ranges are innumerable ; in fact, the entire 
country is a jumble of hills. The main fea- 
tures are, therefore, mountain ranges of one 
thousand to two thousand feet in height, at 
intervals of ten or twelve miles, trending 
north and south ; of confused lines of hills 
and spurs running down to the bottom of 
these intervening spaces ; and lastly of deep 
and narrow streams flowing along the lowest 
levels from north to south, over sandy or 
rocky beds, and in very winding courses, 
often under high and precipitous banks. This 
very well describes the character also of the 
country south and west of Tipai Mukh." 

Mr. Baker submitted among others the follow- 
ing suggestions as the results of his experience, 
and as likely to be useful in the case of a 
future expedition. Several of these were adopted, 
and it would have been better if some of the 
others had also been followed. 



30 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

" In expeditions of this nature the carriage of 
supplies and the clearing of a sufficiently con- 
venient path, are of course, the chief points to 
be alluded to. I believe the Lushais will fight 
on their own ground, and in their own desultory 
manner .... I would recommend 

" For carriage : 

" Boats to the furthest point they can go up in 
November and December, afterwards coolies and 
elephants. 

" To open roads : 

" A company of pioneers, and attached to them 

a body of one hundred Kookie jungle-cutters. 

*-*.*# 

" Half a battery of mountain guns, carried on 
mules in preference to elephants, would prove 
serviceable, and would save time and reduce the 
casualties in taking defended stockades , 

" Every man in the force should be supplied 
with a e kookrie,' a ' dao,' a water-bottle, and 
havresack capable of containing his 6 shalee/ 
' lotah, 5 and some food. 

" Coolies properly organised and officered 
would prove more reliable than elephants, but a 



ME. EDGAR. 31 

score or two of the latter would be useful. No 
tents should be allowed for either men or 
officers, and their personal baggage reduced to a 
minimum. 

" The columns prepared in good time, say in 
November, should move steadily, if slowly, 
making the marches as little trying as pos- 
sible." 

The portion of the force which went up the 
Sonai with Mr. Edgar got to one of Vou- 
pilal's villages, the headman of which, with 
his mother, went, and offered to make sub- 
mission, declaring that Youpilal, who had 
lately died, had taken no part in the raid 
on Munipur, which had been made by Poiboi 
alone. They gave Mr. Edgar very accurate in- 
formation about the other raids, and promised 
to do what they could to induce the Eastern 
chiefs to come to terms. The force then re- 
turned to Cachar. 

The Munipur Contingent was prevented by 
stress of weather from doing anything, and thus 
ended this Expedition, from which such great 
results had been anticipated. 



32 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

In the next raids, which took place in the cold 
weather following, some new Lushai chiefs ap- 
peared, and it will be necessary just to look 
back for a little at the changes which had taken 
place among the principal families. 

Voupilal had died in 1869, and his people are 
divided in their allegiance between his mother 
and his widow. The former lives at Dollong, 
the latter on Vanbong Hill, whither the vil- 
lagers removed from Kholel on the death of 
Voupilal. The widow claims the regency on behalf 
of her infant son Lalhi. Khalkom, Sukpilal's 
son, has moved his village across the Sonai to 
the ridge on which Dollong is situated, and 
supports the mother against the widow, who is 
assisted by her brother Poiboi. 

Lalsavoong having made himself master of 
the Chumfai Valley and neighbourhood, died 
about 1849, leaving three sons who became 
powerful chiefs, of these Vonolel proved himself 
the most powerful and ablest of all the Lushais ; 
and in his constant struggles with neighbouring 
tribes, was generally successful. 

He fought with the Pois and carried off large 



SUKP1LAL. 33 

numbers, whom he settled in separate villages, 
or among his own people. He pursued the same 
policy with the Sokte*s, a powerful tribe in the 
East, under Kamliou, the chief of Molbhem. 
He was succeeded on his death a few years ago 
by his young son Lalboora. 

Another son of Lalsavoong was Lalpoong, 
who had become head of the villages of Chelam 
and the others now belonging to Poiboi, his 
son, who is still a mere boy. 

In December, 1870, Mr. Edgar went down to 
see Sukpilal, and settled finally the boundary 
fixed provisionally the year before. After seeing 
this chief, Mr. Edgar had great difficulty in 
returning, being without provisions, and re- 
ceiving no tidings as to the boats which were 
to have been sent down the Sonai, he was 
obliged to encamp for some time, while he sent 
men to get information as to his supplies, and 
the temper of the neighbouring Lushais. Suk- 
pilal' s people treated him well, taking him such 
provisions as they could, till the arrival of a 
small party of the 44th, under Captain Lightfoot, 
enabled him to return to Cachar. 

D 



34 THE LUSHA1 EXPEDITION. 

Daring his stay in the country, he received 
tidings of intended raids on Cachar, which at 
the time he did not believe, though he sent a 
messenger into the station to give warning; 
shortly afterwards, he " heard that raids had 
actually been made in various parts of the dis- 
trict, about the middle of January. These raids 
were as follows. 

The manager of the tea-garden at Monierkhal, 
had received warning of a raid, and had removed 
his coolies ; but he with the guard of thirty-seven 
soldiers and police, and two other Europeans, 
remained in the stockade. They were reinforced 
by Mr. Daly, a police-officer, from Cachar, and 
about forty soldiers. 

The Lushais, under Lalboora, however, be- 
sieged the stockade for two days, keeping up 
a very heavy fire. Mr. Daly twice made sorties, 
but each time was driven back with loss : the 
Lushais rushing on the slain and plundering 
their bodies. The Lushais are supposed to have 
lost fifty men during this attack. 

At the same time Lalboora's cousin, Tang- 
dong, had made an attempt to reach Nowar- 
bund, but losing his way came out on the 



MARY WINCHESTER. 35 

Nudigram road, where they fell in with a 
guard of eight soldiers and a constable. The 
Sepoys behaved gallantly, but were overpowered, 
six being killed, and one wounded. They are said 
to have killed twenty-five of the enemy before being 
overcome. Tangdong, on his return to his village, 
found that it had been attacked in his absence and 
destroyed by a large party of Sokte's under Kam- 
how, and his wife and a large number of his peo- 
ple carried off as captives. In these two affairs 
the Lushais got possession of thirteen muskets 
from the dead police and Sepoys, which caused 
them great exultation. 

In South Hylakandy attacks had also been 
made on the gardens of Alexandrapur, Jhalua 
Chura, and Cantley Chura, by the Howlongs 
from the South, assisted by the Lyloos. At 
Alexandrapur, early in the morning, the Lushais 
emerged suddenly on the garden from the sur- 
rounding jungle, taking the people so much by 
surprise that no attempt at defence could be 
made. Mr. Winchester, who, with his daughter, 
was on a visit to a friend at this garden, and 
some coolies, were killed at once, the manager 

D 2 



36 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

of the garden effecting Ms escape, and little 
Mary Winchester and several others being 
carried off as prisoners. 

At the other gardens they were not so suc- 
cessful, the occupants having time to arm them- 
selves before the Lushais appeared, and the 
latter were repulsed with ease in each attack, 
and forced to retire altogether. It was against 
these Howlongs and Lyloos that the opera- 
tions of the right column, under General Brown- 
low, were directed, and from whom they 
succeeded eventually in obtaining the release 
of Mary Winchester. 

While returning from Lushai land Mr. Edgar 
received a visit from Khalkom, Sukpilal's son, who 
promised to assist us if an Expedition was under- 
taken against the Eastern Lushais, and stated 
that a path from Tipai Mukh, which might be 
made passable for elephants, led directly into 
their country. 

Mr. Edgar recommended that, if an expe- 
dition was sent against Lalboora, Tipai Mukh 
should be adopted as the starting point, being 
nearer that chief's villages than any other place 
accessible by water. 



CHAPTER III. 



EXPEDITION OF 1871 COLONEL RABAN'S RECOMMENDATIONS- 
GENERAL BOURCHIER THE ROUTE RELATIONS WITH THE 
RAJAH OP MUNIPUR BURMESE INVASIONS VICISSITUDES 
OF MUNIPUR MAJOR-GENERAL NUTHALL INROADS OF 
THE EASTERN LUSHAI CHIEFS. 



39 



CHAPTER III. 

TN July, 1871, the Governor-General in Council 
decided on sending an Expedition against 
the Lushais. The force was to consist of two 
columns, one starting from Chittagong, the 
other from Cachar; a contingent force was 
also to be supplied by the Rajah of Muni- 
pur. 

Remembering the former unsuccess of small 
expeditions which had started late in the season, 
with badly organized commissariat arrange- 
ments, Lord Napier of Magdala, not however 
without opposition, succeeded in inducing the 
Government to sanction a much more costly 
enterprise. 

Colonel Raban, who commanded an expedition 



40 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

from the Chittagong side, in 1861, had, in 
giving the results of the experience he then 
gained, recommended that in any future opera- 
tions not less than from twelve to fifteen 
hundred fighting men should be sent from that 
side ; that they should be ready to start from 
some point on the Kassalong river, not later 
than the first week in December, " and that a 
Commissariat officer of some experience, with 
an efficient establishment, should be at Chitta- 
gong early in November, to make the necessary 
arrangements for boats for the conveyance of 
troops, &c. The supplies of a less perishable 
nature should also be sent on and stored, as 
soon as a force sufficient for their protection had 
arrived." 

He stated that a thousand coolies would 
be the smallest number required, and that 
Ilillmen alone would be of any use; he was 
also of opinion that another, though perhaps a 
smaller force, should operate at the same time 
from the direction of Cachar. 

It will be remembered that Colonel Lister 
had considered, as early as 1850, that 



COLONEL KA BAN'S EEOOMMENDATIONS. 41 

the smallest force which would make an 
impression on the country, would be three 
thousand men. In the face of all these re- 
commendations, petty expeditions had been set 
on foot late in the season, at various times, with 
what miserable results we have already 
seen. 

In 1871, all the recommendations made by 
Colonel Raban ten years before, were carried 
out. It was determined that each column 
should consist of three regiments, accompanied 
by a half-battery of artillery and a company 
of Sappers and Miners, representing a force 
of nearly two thousand men, with about an 
equal number of coolies, and a certain number 
of elephants. The detail of the regiments, 
&c., which composed the left column, will 
be found further on, when we begin to relate 
the movements of the column. 

Brigadier-General Bourchier, C.B., command- 
ing the North-eastern Frontier District, was 
selected to command the Cachar column, and 
after a consultation with Mr. Edgar, who 
went up to Shillong to give him all the in- 



42 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

formation he could about the country and 
routes to it, the General decided that the 
Tipai Mukh route would be the best, as he 
had determined to attack Lalboora. 

No special instructions had been issued by 
Government as to the tribes to be punished 
by the left column, but the reasons which in- 
fluenced the General and Mr. Edgar to direct 
their energies against Vonolel's people were 
the following. 

These people had, in 1869 and 1871, been 
concerned in the raids in Cachar, during 
which they had obtained great advantages 
over our Sepoys. They were also the re- 
motest and least accessible of all the Lushais 
from the Cachar side, and it seemed unlikely 
" that they, secure in their distant fastnesses, 
and confident that they were more than a 
match for our troops in jungle fighting, would 
be induced to make a voluntary submission 
by the terror inspired by our punishment of 
nearer and less warlike tribes than our own." 
Mr. Edgar also says: 

"General Bourchier considered, and I fully 



EAJAH OF MUNIPUE. .43 

agreed with him, that the only way in which 
we could force these people to submit, and to 
recognise that they must behave properly in 
future, was to show them that we could reach 
them, and that we had the power of crushing 
any opposition they could make to our occu- 
pation of their country." 

As reference has been made to the Rajah 
of Munipur several times, and his contingent 
was destined to play a certain part in the 
Expedition, a glance at our relations with 
him may not be considered out of place. 

As early as the middle of the eighteenth 
century the Munipuris applied to the British 
Government for aid against the Burmese, 
offering to pay a large annual tribute. It 
was determined to assist them, and an officer 
with a detachment was sent to their aid. He 
was recalled, .however, when he had reached 
the capital of Cachar; and no further inter- 
course took place till the first war between 
the British and Burmese occurred in 1823. 

The Burmese troops invaded Assam and 
Cachar, causing great alarm in our frontier 



44 THE LUSHAT EXPEDITION. 

district of Sylhet. Three of the Munipuri 
princes who had been quarrelling among them- 
selves, uniting against the common enemy, 
begged the protection of the British. Nego- 
tiations were opened with them, and a party 
of five hundred taken into British pay under 
the command of one of these princes, Gumbeer 
Sing. With this party, and the assistance of 
some British troops, he succeeded in driving 
the Burmese, not only from Cachar, but also 
from Munipur. 

Subsequently this body, increased to two 
thousand men, and placed under the com- 
mand of a Captain Grant, was called the 
Munipur Levy. 

Captain Grant compelled the Burmese to 
retire, and fixed the Nungthe* river as 
the eastern boundary of Munipur ; but at 
the desire of the British Government, and 
with a view of pleasing the Burmese, this 
boundary was given up, and a more westerly 
one, the eastern base of the Yomadong Hills, 
substituted for it. 

The former was certainly the better boundary, 



GUMBEEK SING. 45 

and by giving it up our Government en- 
tailed upon itself a monthly expense of Us. 500, 
as compensation to Munipur for alienated 
territory, "and made it necessary, from the 
predatory habits of the tribes inhabiting the 
Yomadong Hills constantly endangering it, to 
secure the peace of the frontier by retaining 
at Munipur a Political agent." 

Gumbeer Sing, having thus, with our assis- 
tance, obtained possession of Munipur, was 
declared independent. On his death, in 1834, 
a regency was established under Nur Sing, 
Chunder Kirtee, Gumbeer's son, being an in- 
fant. 

In 1835 the British Government determined 
to discontinue all connection with the Muni- 
pur troops. Nur Sing was succeeded by his 
brother Devindro Sing. 

Whilst the latter was preparing to ascend 
the throne, Chunder Kirtee, who had been 
living in Cachar, returned with a few followers 
to obtain the kingdom for himself. He crossed 
the hills, and being joined by most of the 
adherents of the two last Rajahs, he soon 



46 THE LTJSHAI EXPEDITION. 

succeeded in driving Devindro Sing out of the 
country. He fled to Cachar, whither he was 
afterwards followed by some princes from Muni- 
pur, who had become dissatisfied with Chunder 
Kirtee, and together they made several attacks 
on the latter. 

They were unsuccessful, "but their frequent 
attempts to upset the Munipur Government 
were distressing to the country and prejudicial 
to British influence/' Warnings proving useless 
to deter these men, and being fearful that a 
prince from Burmah was about to secure 
possession of the Munipur throne, our Govern- 
ment declared Chunder Kirtee Sing under its 
especial protection, and undertook to maintain 
him in his kingdom. The princes in Cachar 
disregarded this declaration, and were over- 
come by some British troops sent against 
them. 

Since then, Chunder Kirtee has reigned in 
peace ; a Political Agent being still retained in 
Munipur. 

For some time, Colonel McCulloch was the 
Political Agent, and from his intimate knowledge 



AFFRAY AT CHIBOO. 47 

of the character and modes of thought of the 
Kookies, and his great experience in frontier 
matters, he was able, through Munipur, to 
influence the Eastern Lushais under Yonolel, 
whom he induced to come to terms, which were 
respected as long as the Colonel continued in 
Munipur, and during that time friendly rela- 
tions seem to have existed between the Lushais 
and the Ladoe*s, and the Kookies inhabiting the 
southern portion of Munipur; and the latter 
used to shoot over the hunting-grounds of the 
Lushais, in the neighbourhood of the salt-springs 
of Chiboo, 

In the Spring of 1870, however, the Lushais 
lost seven men at this place, in an affray with 
some Ladoe*s. Mr. Edgar thought that this, 
and the consequent bad feeling which was 
generated between the Munipuris and Lushais, 
were due principally to the decline of the in- 
fluence of the Political Agent over the Kookies, 
and his inability to control the intrigues of the 
Munipur officials ; and he considered that the 
Rajah himself would be willing to carry out a 
friendly policy, as it was manifestly to his ad- 



48 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

vantage to have in the friendly Lushais a strong 
barrier between his frontier and the powerful 
and savage tribes beyond, such as the Sokte's 
and Khyrens. And if the Political Agent had 
taken up a position with "a tolerably strong force 
at Chiboo in December, 1870, it is probable 
that the Eastern Lushai chiefs would not have 
dared to make the raids in January, 1871, which 
have been already described. 

The Rajah of Munipur volunteered to assist 
the last Expedition with a contingent force of 
five hundred men, under the command of two 
Munipur officers; and the Government of 
India, in accepting his services, directed him to 
place the contingent under the orders of 
General Bourchier. 

Major-General Nuthall, an officer of great 
experience on this frontier, was appointed to 
accompany the Munipur force, as Political 
Agent; through him the Rajah was requested 
to establish outposts along the hills east of 
Tipai Mukh, and south of the Munipur valley, 
and to advance his force south of Moirang, in 
the direction of Chiboo, with a view of pro- 



MILITARY PRECAUTIONS. 49 

tecting the Munipur valley, and while securing 
the fidelity of Kamhow and preventing him 
from aiding the Lushais, to enable the Munipur 
State to take every advantage of his assistance. 
At the same time this movement would tend 
to prevent the Lushais from retiring towards 
the East in our advance from Tipai Mukh, 
and afterwards closing on our rear and cutting 
off our communications. 



CHAPTER IV. 



THE TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY OF INDIA COOLIES CACHAR 
MUNIPUR HORSE-DEALERS HOCKEY-PLAYERS UNCOM- 
FORTABLE MODE OF RIDING PRESENT FOR A CHIEF TEA- 
GARDENS NATIVE IDOLS THE MONIERKHAL STOCKADE- 
RUMOURS OF A THREATENED ATTACK CURIOUS DISCOVERY. 



53 



CHAPTER IV. 

TN July, 1871, I was appointed to the 
Topographical Survey Department of India, 
and when the Expedition against the Lushais 
was decided on, I was fortunate enough to 
be attached to the party under orders to ac- 
company the Left Column, and proceeded to 
join it in Cachar. 

I arrived in Silchar, the principal station of 
this district, on the 12th November. The 
party consisted of Captain Badgley in charge, 
Lieutenant Leach, R.E., three Civil Surveyors, 
and myself. We had also a large establish- 
ment of instrument-carriers, and three sets of 
instruments. 

This large party had been sanctioned on the 



54 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

recommendation of the Commander- in-Chief, 
who remembered the good results obtained 
from the employment of a strong Survey 
party in Abyssinia. 

Very little was known about the disposition 
of the tribes at that time, and very few ex- 
pected that any opposition would be offered 
to the advance of the troops. It was there- 
fore thought that, with the co-operation of 
Sukpilal, about whose friendliness no doubts 
were entertained, the Survey would be able to 
send out detached parties in various directions, 
or to accompany the troops, should the ad- 
vance from Tipai Mukh be made by separate 
columns taking different routes. This, however, 
did not happen. 

The advance, as will be seen, was made by 
one column in a continuous line, and the 
Survey had no opportunity of sending out 
detached parties off the line of march below 
Tipai Mukh. 

We had been informed that coolies would be 
supplied to us by the Commissariat in Cachar. 
On applying, however, to the officer in charge 



IREITATING INACTION. 55 

of that Department, he showed us his orders, 
which were to supply us, if possible. These 
words gave him a loop-hole for escape, and 
pressed as he was by the mortality among the 
coolies at Chattuck, he gladly availed himself 
of it, and we were eventually obliged to procure 
Cossyah coolies from Shillong. 

These men proved as good coolies as any 
with the Expedition; but the delay conse- 
quent on the time spent in securing them, 
caused us to lose a month of very valuable 
time. 

We found it difficult even to get coolies for 
short periods to enable us to move about in 
Cachar; so that instead of accompanying the 
Quartermaster-General's Department from the 
outset, and taking advantage of the many 
checks which occurred before Tipai Mukh was 
reached by the troops, to clear and fix points 
on either side of the Barak in Cachar and 
Munipur, while it was still safe to travel 
almost without a guard, we were condemned 
to a state of irritating inaction. 

At first Cachar was in a great state of 



56 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

bustle, the different corps and bodies of coolies 
arriving daily. The coolies were of all races, 
Punjabis and Hindustanis from up-country, 
Mekirs, Nagas, Cachari Kookies from the North 
Cachar Hills, and Nepaulese Goorkhas. 

All these men, on arrival, were supplied each 
with a blanket, coat, boots, a dao, and 
bandages for the legs, as protection against 
thorns ; and large tarpaulins in the propor- 
tion, I think, of one to every four coolies were 
also distributed to them. 

The hospital coolies, for the sake of dis- 
tinction, received bandages of bright yellow, 
which, contrasting in a very striking manner 
with their brown legs and general dinginess, 
gave them a sufficiently marked appearance. 
We had the pleasure of seeing corps after 
corps march in, to be supplied with coolies, 
and after obtaining the number apportioned to 
each, march out again. 

By the end of November we were left to 
ourselves, and Silchar had settled down once 
more into its usual dead level of dulness. 
The Munipur horsedealers, who inhabit villages 



MUNIPUR HOCKEY-GROUND. 57 

near Silchar, and had been doing a brisk 
trade in selling their active, hardy little ponies 
to officers going on the Expedition, were left 
to their general amusement of hockey. Their 
recommendation of ponies as good hockey- 
players to men who required them simply as 
baggage animals, and who were going into 
almost impenetrable jungles, seemed unnecessary ; 
nevertheless it was one on which they strongly 
insisted when there appeared to be any hesita- 
tion in giving them the price which they de- 
manded. 

A very curious sight is presented by the 
Munipur hockey-ground. The sturdy, active, 
little ponies enter, to all appearances, into 
the game as thoroughly as their riders, follow- 
ing the ball with great rapidity, while they 
wheel and turn in every direction, as if at 
once responsive to the least emotion of the 
lithe and naked natives mounted on them. 
Now the field is scattered. One man is seen 
riding away in the distance after the ball, 
which he strikes up towards the goal, when 
a simultaneous rush is made by all the players 



58 



THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 



towards it, and nothing is seen but a confused 
mass of ponies' legs and hockey sticks whirling 
high in air. The ball again gets free, the 
field scatter in pursuit, and a similar scene is 
once more enacted. 

This game, which is being introduced into 
England, affords ample opportunity for the dis- 
play of good riding, and is much patronized 
by the planters in Cachar, who hold weekly 
meetings for the practice of it. 

Many of the Munipuris ride without stirrups, 
and those who have them simply cling to them 
by holding the stirrup-iron between the toes, 
a most uncomfortable way of riding, according 
to our ideas. As a protection to the bare legs 
of the riders when passing through the jungle, 
they have huge flaps of hard leather suspended 
from the saddle on each side, descending as 
low as the stirrups, and turned round in 
front. These articles, which are anything but 
ornamental, give a most uncouth appearance 
to the saddle, and flap about with a tre- 
mendous noise when the pony is going at all 
fast. 



PEESENTS FOE A CHIEF. 59 

While we were in Cachar, presents arrived 
at the Deputy-Commissioner's for Sukpilal. 
They consisted of a large silver-gilt goblet 
and claret jug, with inscriptions to the effect 
that they were presented by the Government 
of India in recognition of his former ser- 
vices. 

It is sad to think that these not very appro- 
priate ornaments for a rough bamboo house, where 
they would have shone conspicuously on the 
floor from among the family stock of yams, 
potatoes, &c., never found their way to Suk- 
pilal at all, though they accompanied Mr. 
Edgar through the Expedition. The chief, fo 
whom they were intended, had conducted him- 
self in so unsatisfactory a manner that it was 
not considered proper to present them to him, 
and they returned to Cachar. They might have 
been presented to some other deserving chief, 
but the English inscription engraved on them 
rendered them unfit for such a purpose. 

Our coolies arrived at last from Shillong on 
the 14th December, and that same evening 
Captain Badgley received a. telegram from the 



60 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

General, directing him to send a survey officer 
at once to join the head-quarters, as orders had 
been sent by the Government to the commanders 
of each column, to communicate daily by 
telegraph to each other, through the Commander- 
in -Chief s office. They were directed to give 
the latitude and longitude of each camp, with 
any other information likely to facilitate the 
junction of the two columns, should this be 
found possible before the close of the Expedition. 

Captain Badgley himself left the next day 
to join the head-quarters, leaving the remainder 
of the party to follow by two routes, one by 
Luckipur and the Barak, the other by the 
Buban Range to Mynadhur. 

The latter route fell to me. With one of 
our civil surveyors, Mr. Ogle, I left Silchar on 
the 16th of December, and marched out as far 
as a tea-garden called Borvalia, about eighteen 
miles along a level road. 

Here we were very hospitably received and 
entertained by the manager, Mr. "Wellington, and 
his wife, who also found accommodation for our 
classis and coolies. 



SURVEYING EXPEDITION. 61 

The next morning, lightly equipped, we 
started to ascend to a point on the range 
which had been cleared, and from which we 
expected to get some work. This point, though 
apparently an easy day's journey from the 
bungalow, proved very difficult to reach. The 
path, a very obscure one, is used by the 
garden coolies and others who go occasionally 
to worship a stone god and goddess whose 
shrine is near the place towards which we were 
proceeding. 

Mr. Willington gave us two coolies as guides, 
without whose assistance we should never have 
discovered the way, which for the first three 
miles lay through very tall and tangled grass 
jungle, of so rough and hard a texture that our 
faces and hands were cut by it as if by knives. 
The path was sometimes lost in swamps, but 
again appearing, followed the course of small 
streams alive with innumerable leeches, which 
fastened on us without the slightest provoca- 
tion. 

At last, after crossing a series of low hills 
and spurs, we reached the foot of the Bubans. 



62 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Here, crossing a beautiful stream of clear water, 
the ascent commenced, and a stiff climb it 
proved; a sheer ascent of eighteen hundred 
feet, with a slope of three hundred and thirty- 
two feet the whole way. Arrived at the top, 
we had a long five miles to go over a very 
uneven path, ascending and descending alter- 
nately, never level. 

Darkness closed around us long before we 
reached our camping ground ; but lighting 
candles, we distributed them among the coolies 
at intervals, and managed, though slowly and 
with difficulty, to find the spot a very romantic 
little place, enclosed on three sides by huge 
masses of fern and moss-covered rocks, the 
fourth sloping steeply down to a little spring 
of good water. 

Beneath these rocks we found the rudely 
carved figures of .the god and goddess, about 
three feet high, with strips of red and white 
cloth adorning their shapeless bodies. The 
former was sitting cross-legged on some broken 
stones, on which were some attempts at orna- 
mentation, and which were apparently the 



FIGURES OF A GOD AND GODDESS. G3 

remains of a kind of canopy, or at any rate, 
of a throne. The goddess was standing in a 
small low-walled enclosure, and at the foot of 
a bamboo bedstead, which had been erected 
by some visitors from the garden a few days 
before. 

Having lighted a fire, and killed, cooked, 
and eaten a fowl, we made our beds, and were 
speedily asleep under the shelter of the goddess 
near whose shrine we were lying, though to ack- 
nowledge the truth, she was a somewhat fear-in- 
spiring object, as seen dimly through the musquito 
curtains by the pale moonlight, to a nervous 
imagination in moments of half-wakefulness. 

I was unable to find out anything about 
these figures, how long they had been there, 
whom they represented, &c. The men with us 
did not seem to know anything about them, 
though they prostrated themselves with great 
reverence before them. 

The next morning, having done what we 
could from this point, which commands a most 
extensive view of North Cachar and Muni- 
pur, we returned, camping at the foot of 



64 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

the hills for the night, and proceeding early 
next day to Mr. Willington's to breakfast, and 
pick up the men and instruments we had left 
behind at the gardens. 

Here I must express my sense of obligation 
to all the planters whose gardens we visited, 
for the great hospitality they invariably showed 
us. The fact that we were strangers, and in 
need of any sort of assistance, was a sufficient 
passport to their liberality, and we were in- 
debted to them for much valuable help in 
many ways. 

In the afternoon we went to Sonai Mukh, 
whence we proceeded the next day to Monier- 
khal. The road running along the Sonai is 
very level as far as Nagakhal, a stream at the 
foot of the hills three miles beyond Monierkhal. 
It at first runs through very flat open country, 
but below Nudigram it passes through a large 
patch of very high grass jungle, beyond which it 
enters a forest, and so to Nagakhal, passing two 
clearances for gardens, Durmiakhal and Monier- 
khal. 

The latter, now famous by reason of the 



MONIERKHAL. 65 

frequent raids made upon it, is a tolerably 
large clearance. The dark green tea-plants, 
growing on the low hills or tilas, give a curious 
speckled appearance to the sandy mounds ; on 
one of which stands the stockade, containing 
small barracks and a magazine. Just beneath 
are the coolie huts, and the small stockade 
beyond them, which commands the bridge over 
the Sonai, and the opening in the belt of forest 
surrounding the garden whence the Lushais 
generally emerge. 

The Monierkhal stockade, as well as that 
at Mynadhur, is not nearly so remarkable for 
engineering skill as any of the Lushai defences 
we came across. The bungalow is situated 
on a small tila about two hundred yards 
north of the stockade. 

On arriving at Monierkhal we found the 
Moniejer was absent, and* the garden Baboo, 
the guard, and every one else, in a great state 
of excitement, as a notice had been sent from 
Mynadhur that a hundred Lushais were 
supposed to be going in the Monierkhal 
direction. Everything had been moved out of 

F 



66 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

the bungalow into the stockade, whither also 
the coolies' wives and children had been sent 
for safety, and an attack was confidently 
expected. 

Early next morning, while the mists were 
still hanging over the garden, the head 
Baboo, evidently an inventive genius, informed 
us on the authority of a friend supposed to 
be at Tipai Mukh, whom, however, I suspected 
to be a Bengali Mrs. Harris, that the General 
had been defeated in a great fight with the 
Lushais, and was retreating to Tipai Mukh, 
as fast as the elephants, by which the line 
of march was much encumbered, would let 
him. All this sounded very circumstantial, but 
we told the Baboo we would not put much faith 
in his friend's statement. 

The night and morning passed off without 
anything occurring to disturb our peaceful 
slumbers, and about 9 A.M. we commenced the 
journey to Mynadhur, across the Bubans. 

On the highest point of the mountains we 
found, to our surprise, a large native bedstead 
by the path, and afterwards heard that it be- 



THE " HQOLOOK." 67 

longed to some luxurious commissariat or post- 
office Baboo, who had managed to get it so 
far, when the coolie, who was carrying it, 
refused to take it any further and abandoned 
it. It now serves as a convenient resting 
place on which the weary travellers may re- 
cline after their fatiguing climb, and from 
which they may survey the smiling plains of 
Cachar spread out like a map some three 
thousand feet below. 

The stillness of the forest was ever and 
anon broken by the cries of a black monkey, 
known among the natives as the " hoolook." 
These animals go about in troops, uttering 
cries very much resembling the yelping of 
beaten puppies. One or two commence with 
a few single cries in one key, when suddenly 
the whole pack join the chorus in every variety 
of key. After indulging in this amusement for 
some time, it is brought to a close, the cries 
gradually dying away, but only to be resumed 
again with greater vigour than before. We 
seldom saw these monkeys, but we heard them 
frequently as far down as Kungnung. 



C8 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Mynadhur, which is elsewhere described, 
was reached about half-past six in the after- 
noon, and here we had our first experience of 
Commissariat rations. I went into the little 
hut and saw, on the ground, two dark masses 
covered with the prevailing sand, and, on in- 
vestigation, I found they were my beef and 
pork for a week. 

I need not repeat my remarks about the road 
between Mynadhur and Tipai Mukh. Suffice 
it to say that, journeying by land and water, we 
reached the latter place just in time for dinner 
on Christmas Day. 

Difficulties connected with the Commissariat 
Department prevented our going on to the 
front till the 2nd of January, when we started 
for Tuibum. On the road we met all the 
wounded from the Kholel business, whom they 
were taking into the depot hospital at Tipai 
Mukh. We reached No. 7 Station on the 4th. 



CHAPTER V. 



THE LUSHAIS CHARACTERISTICS OF THREE PRINCIPAL TRIBES 
FEATURES AND COMPLEXION MUSCULAR STRENGTH IN- 
TELLECTUAL APTITUDE COSTUME PERSONAL ADORNMENT 
A LUSHAI EXQUISITE PRACTICE OF SMOKING TOBACCO 
WATER WEAPONSGUNPOWDER. 



71 



CHAPTER V. 
i 

rPHE Lushais with whom we became ac- 
quainted during our journeyings, belonged to 
three different tribes, the Lushais, Paites, or 
Sokte"s, and Pois. The latter are rather taller 
and of a fairer complexion than the ordinary 
run of Hillmen, but the principal distinguish- 
ing characteristic between the three tribes is 
the mode in which they dress their hair. 

The Lushai parts his hair in the middle, 
and braiding it smoothly on each side of the 
face, binds it in a knot on the nape of the 
neck, secured by large copper or steel hair- 
pins ; the Sokte does not part it at all, but 
wears it short and standing out like flames 
round the forehead, which is generally rather 



72 THE L-USHAI EXPEDITION. 

high and round ; sometimes the hair is twisted 
into a little tail at the back. 

The Pois part their hair across the back of 
the head, from ear to ear, all above this line 
being drawn upwards or forwards, bound in a 
high double knot on the forehead, and fastened 
by a small ivory or bone comb, generally orna- 
mented with some little design in red ; but all the 
hair below the parting is allowed to hang in 
wavy curls over the back and shoulders. 

Some Pois, once in camp, were watching a 
Sikh Sepoy performing his toilet, and seeing 
that, previous to putting on his turban, he 
bound his long hair into a knot on the top 
of his head, tying one end of the turban into it, 
they at once hailed him as a Poi and a brother. 
Bearing in mind these distinctions, the follow- 
ing description applies to all, premising that 
the only women we saw were Lushais. 

Both the men and women are well made, 
and very muscular; the average height of the 
former appeared to be about five feet six inches, 
and of the women, five feet four inches. The 
men are all sturdy fellows, thickset as to the 



APPEARANCE OP THE LUSHAIS. 73 

neck and shoulders, body light and active, 
arms and legs muscular and well developed, 
their arms generally long in proportion to their 
bodies. 

Their complexion comprises every shade of 
brown, and their features vary considerably ; 
the generality however possessing flafc retrousse 
noses with wide nostrils, thick lips, and 
small almond-shaped eyes. Among the Lushais 
though, and especially among those related to 
the reigning families, some of whom were 
even handsome, we met with a much more 
refined type the nose being thin and aquiline 
with small nostrils, the lips thin and the 
mouth small. In all, however, the cheek-bones 
were high and prominent, the face broad and 
remarkable for an almost entire absence of 
beard or moustache ; even a slight moustache 
and small tuft of hair on the chin being the 
exception rather than the rule. 

The expression of many was bright and in- 
telligent, and they showed a wonderful aptitude 
for quickly understanding anything new and 
wonderful which they saw during their visits 



74 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

to our camp. Not the least astonishing proof 
of this was the sharpness they displayed in 
understanding at a glance the intention of a 
pencil sketch. I showed a sketch to some 
Lushais one day, and it pleased them so much 
that one went away and returned with the 
skulls of a deer and a pig, and a live hen, 
all of which he requested me to draw, which 
I did ; and the lookers-on pointed out, on the 
models, each part as it was delineated, even to 
some discolorations on the skulls, which I in- 
dicated by a little shading. 

Their general expression of wonder is " Amakeh 
oh !" which they repeat to each other over 
and over again, when anything more astonish- 
ing than usual excites their interest. Their 
dress consists only of one large homespun 
sheet of cotton cloth, passed round the 
body under the right arm, which is thus 
left free, the two ends being thrown in oppo- 
site directions over the left shoulder, where 
they are secured by a strap of tiger or otter 
skin, supporting a bag in which is carried a 
knife, a dao, tobacco, flint, steel, and other 
little necessaries. 



A LUSHAI EXQUISITE. 75 

The articles contained in the bag are pro- 
tected from the rain by a kind of shield 
made of tiger, bear, or goat-skin ; the latter, 
with the long hair pendent, strongly resembling 
a Highland sporan. This shield is fastened at 
each end of the strap, and can be easily re- 
moved at will. The cloth is generally greyish 
white, with a dark blue stripe running through 
it; but sometimes it is dark blue, with a few 
stripes of white, yellow, or red, or all three 
interwoven into it. 

Occasionally we met a young man, ap- 
parently a Lushai Exquisite, who wore both 
the white and blue cloths arranged with no 
little taste. 

A few tartans have found their way among 
the Lushais, but these have been procured 
through Munipur or Cachar. The men wear 
necklaces of coloured beads, or of amber, which 
are worn in large cylindrical beads. We saw 
very few of the latter and those only on 
people apparently of some importance. 

A large tiger's tooth mounted in silver, and 
suspended round the neck by a thread, is 



76 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

much prized, and has, I believe, some special 
virtue as a charm. A large red stone, sus- 
pended by a string, often forms an ornament 
for the ear, but a bunch of small brilliant 
feathers, or a small tuft of goat's hair, dyed 
crimson or blue, and passed through a hole in 
the lobe of the ear, seemed to be the favourite 
ornament of that organ. Muntries and cer- 
tain other head-men are allowed to wear a 
tuft of feathers in the knots of their hair. 

The women we saw seemed to disdain 
these ornaments, but some of them distended the 
lobes of their ears by a small thick circular disc 
of white baked clay. They wear a small strip of 
cloth, eighteen inches deep, passed round the 
waist, and over this, a cloth of dark blue wrapped 
carefully about them, in which they carry their 
young children on their backs. 

Their mode of dressing their hair is exceedingly 
pretty; it is braided smoothly over the forehead 
and plaited at the sides, the plaits being passed 
round the back of the head and over the top in 
the manner of a coronet. 

Men, women, and children, from the age at 



TOBACCO- WATER. 77 

which they can hold a pipe, smoke almost in- 
cessantly. The mens 5 pipes are made sometimes 
of brass, rudely ornamented, but generally of a 
small piece of bamboo lined with copper or iron ; 
a very fine bamboo being let in near the knot as 
a mouthpiece. 

The bowl of the women's pipe is of clay, and 
is fitted with a bamboo receptacle for water, 
which, becoming impregnated with the fumes of 
the smoke and the oil of the tobacco, is afterwards 
carried about by the men in small gourds or 
bamboo tubes, and sipped from time to time, 
being kept in the mouth for a short time before 
spitting it out. This tobacco water is looked 
upon as a great luxury, and when a Lushai meets 
a friend, he offers it to him as a mark of 
courtesy, as civilized old gentlemen used formerly 
to exchange snuff-boxes. 

The Lushais are mighty hunters, as they are 
great eaters of flesh, and their supplies depend 
a good deal upon the success of their hunting 
excursions. It is only within the last fifteen years, 
or thereabouts, that they have learnt the use of 
fire-arms, but now they possess a large number of 



78 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

muskets, most of which are old flint-locks, of 
English manufacture, bearing the Tower mark of 
various dates, some as far back as the middle of 
the last century. The stocks of these are highly 
varnished and ornamented with red paint. 

Their other arms are bows made of bamboo, 
with which poisoned arrows are used. These, 
however, I believe, are not much used now, having 
given way to the superior claims of powder and 
shot. Spears of various shapes and lengths, 
they obtain from Munipur, Cachar, and else- 
where. The dao is a triangular blade of about 
twelve inches long, fitted into a wooden handle. 
The edge is sharpened for cutting, and the broad 
end is employed for digging. This, besides being 
used as a weapon of offence, is also the agri- 
cultural implement with which most of their 
jooming operations are performed. 

A long-bladed two-handed Burmese knife, slung 
over the shoulder, is carried by some with an 
air of superiority. Small bamboo quivers, full of 
panjies, i.e., small pointed stakes of hardened 
bamboo, are in time of war attached to their bags. 
These are stuck in the ground along the path in 



GUNPOWDER. 79 



escaping from a pursuer, or in the approach to a 
village, and are capable of inflicting very nasty 
wounds in bare feet, and will even penetrate thick 
leather shoes. 

Formerly the Lushais used to obtain gunpowder 
from Cachar and Chittagong. Owing to the in- 
creased vigilance of the authorities in these dis- 
tricts, they are now obliged to manufacture it for 
themselves. Sulphur they get from Burrnah ; the 
saltpetre they obtain from heaps of manure col- 
lected in large funnel-shaped baskets which hang 
up outside the houses. This manure is strongly 
impregnated with urine, and the liquid, draining 
through into receptacles beneath, is afterwards 
evaporated, and crystals of saltpetre are ob- 
tained. 

Their powder is very weak, but what is lacking 
in quality they make up in quantity, about four 
fingers, or six drachms, being the usual charge. 
The bullets are generally bits of iron or lead 
hammered into shape. 

Their powder-flasks are made from metua horns, 
polished and ornamented with little bands of red 
cane-work, and sometimes inlaid with silver ; the 
priming powder is carried in a very small horn. 



CHAPTER VI. 



LUSHAI VILLAGES CONSTRUCTION OF THE HOUSES INTERNAL 
ARRANGEMENTS WINDOWS STOCKADES NATIVE WINE 
BASKET-MAKING DOMESTIC ANIMALS CURIOUS MACHINE 
FOR ENTRAPPING GAME AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS 
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS A SMITH'S FORGE. 



CHAPTER VI. 

A LUSHAI village is generally situated on or 
near the top of some high hill or ridge. 
Those we saw were seldom built on the highest 
part, but a little way down the slope, apparently 
for protection against high winds. The houses 
are constructed on one uniform plan ; they are 
all gable-ended and raised some three or four 
feet from the ground. The framework is of 
timber, very strong, the walls and floor being of 
bamboo matting, and the roof thatched with grass, 
or with a palmated leaf common in the hills. 

The houses are usually about eighteen feet long 
by twelve wide, and in front is a large verandah, 
fitted with hollow basins scooped out of tree 
trunks, in which rice is husked with long wooden 
pestles. 

G 2 



84 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

At the back of the house is another small en- 
closed verandah, which serves as a sort of store- 
room. The interior of the house is fitted with a 
large hearth of mud or flat stones, over which is 
suspended a large square wooden framework, on 
which are trays of grain, herbs, &c., all dried, 
bacon cured, &c. 

On one side of the fire-place is a small raised 
sleeping place. 

The doors are blocked up at the bottom 
with small logs, for a height of about two 
feet. This, I was told, was with a view to 
keep the small children in, and the pigs out. 
A small circular hole affords entrance to the 
domestic fowls ; and small cages constructed just 
under the eaves are the abode of fowls and 
pigeons at night. The door itself is a close 
bamboo hurdle, sliding backwards and forwards 
inside on a couple of bamboos, which act as guides. 

Some houses have windows, which are closed 
externally by shutters of a similar construction to 
the doors. The front of the house is covered with 
skulls of antlered deer, metua, bears, leopards, 
&c., all smoked to a dark brown colour. Feathers 



A CHIEF'S HOUSE. 85 

of various birds are also stuck into the interstices 
of the wall. 

The chiefs house is of similar construction, but 
much larger, being about forty yards long, by ten 
wide, and is divided within into one large hall, and 
two or three sleeping rooms opening on to a 
passage running the whole length of the building. 
It has, generally, in front a large level open 
space, and from this the streets radiate in all 
directions, following the spurs or slopes of the 
hill. The whole is inclosed in a stiff timber 
stockade, excellently constructed on the most 
approved principle, with a ditch and banquettes 
in rear and loopholed. The entrance is through 
a passage of strong timbers, and defended by a 
thick door or gates. 

Small, well-protected look-outs are erected at 
the angles of the stockade, commanding the ap- 
proaches to the village. Outside the fencing, 
timber platforms surrounded by posts, each 
crowned with the skull of some animal, mark the 
spot " where the rude forefathers of the hamlet 
sleep." Inside also, these resting places are 
marked by a small raised mound of earth, or a pile 



86 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

of stones and a few skulls, usually close to the 
house of the deceased. 

Outside every house is a small raised platform, 
on which, and on the stones covering the graves 
of their deceased friends, the Lushais assemble 
in groups in the mornings and evenings to 
smoke and converse. 

In all the villages, moreover, there is a large 
barn -like building, raised similarly to the houses, 
but partially open at the sides, and with a square 
sunk fireplace in the middle. This is the house 
of assembly, where the affairs of the village and 
the arrangements for raiding expeditions, &c., are 
discussed. 

The Lushais manufacture a kind of wine from 
fermented rice and water ; something else is 
added, a fruit, found in the jungle, I believe, but 
what it was, I could not find out. These ingre- 
dients are placed in a large clay jar, and pressed 
down for several days, when the wine is fit to 
drink. In one of the northern villages we saw 
them sucking the wine out of the jar, by means of 
a long reed, which was passed from mouth to 
mouth ; but further south we found in the houses 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS. 87 

a kind of syphon, made by joining a couple of 
reeds together at an angle of forty-five degrees, 
by means of a piece of India-rubber. This is 
used for drawing off the wine from the rice, &c., 
in the jar. The wine is thin, and in flavour 
somewhat resembles cranberry wine. 

The Lushais are very clever at basket-work, 
making basKets of all sorts, of cane or bamboo, 
from little really tasteful ones for holding small 
articles in-doors, up to large deep baskets with 
conical lids, and little feet, in which they carry 
loads of all sorts. The latter are carried on 
the back, a small cane-band passing round them, 
and through the ends of a little wooden yoke on 
the shoulders, and so over the forehead. 

The domestic animals found in a Lushai village 
are the metua, a very handsome animal of the 
bovine race, with fine horns ; the goat, remark- 
able for his very long white hair ; pigs, which are 
fattened up to a great size, and fowls. We saw 
a few dogs in some of the villages we occupied. 

Near the villages we found various kinds of 
traps, some formed by bending down a strong 
sapling or bamboo as a spring, which jerks 



88 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

the animal high into the air, holding it sus- 
pended by one foot. A sepoy with the right 
column was caught in one of these, and carried 
suddenly aloft by the foot, to the astonishment 
of his comrades. 

Another trap, for tigers, &c., is a rough cage 
of logs, open at both ends, the top of which is 
composed of several large trunks of trees so 
arranged as to fall on and crush any animal 
passing through the cage. They are also very 
skilful in making small rat-traps and snares for 
birds. 

A Lushai field, or joom, as it is called, is 
merely a piece of ground on the hill-side, 
cleared of jungle in the following manner. A 
convenient piece of ground having been fixed 
upon, the undergrowth of shrubs and creepers 
is cut, and all except the largest trees felled ; 
the fallen jungle is then left to dry in the 
sun, so that it may be fired when the proper 
season arrives. 

Great caution is exercised in firing the jooms, 
to prevent the flames spreading, as at this 
season of the year the surrounding jungle is 



AGRICULTUBE. 89 

very dry. When the joom is fired, all the 
felled jungle, with the exception of the larger 
trees, is reduced to ashes ; the unburnt trees 
are left lying on the ground, and help to keep 
the soil from being washed down by rain. The 
soil also is thoroughly burnt for an inch or two, 
and this soil, being mixed with the ashes, becomes 
fit for the reception of the seed. 

Baskets of mixed seeds of cotton, rice, 
melons, pumpkins, yams, &c., are carried by 
the sowers, and a handful thrown into little 
narrow holes made with the broad end of a dao. 

The sowing takes place just before the rains, 
during which the villagers assist each other in 
weeding the crops. 

The first thing to ripen is Indian corn, in the 
end of July; afterwards, in order, melons and 
vegetables ; lastly rice and other grain in Sep- 
tember. Small houses, six or eight feet from 
the ground, are erected in the jooms, and are 
occupied, during the ripening of the crops, by men 
whose business it is to keep off monkeys, jungle- 
fowl, &c., who would do mischief in the jooms. 

The rice, having been cut and beaten out, 



90 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

is stored in granaries fenced about with strong 
logs. Like the people of " Haminelin town/' the 
Lushais are frequently visited by immense 
numbers of rats which overrun everything, filling 
the granaries, and leaving ruin and devastation 
behind them. " Neither fire nor water stops the 
progress of the innumerable host, which disappear 
as suddenly and mysteriously as they arrive." 

Besides the crops grown in the fields, small 
gardens are frequent in the villages, in which 
are cultivated yams, tobacco, pepper, beans of 
various sorts, and herbs. In carrying loads 
or cutting jungle, the Lushais work to the cry 
of a continuous " haw-haw " uttered in measured 
time by all. 

Their musical instruments are few and simple ; 
a drum of stretched deer-skin, a curious instru- 
ment formed from a gourd, the neck of which is 
furnished with a reed mouth-piece. Into the 
gourd, seven reed-pipes of various lengths, each 
having one hole stop, are inserted ; the junc- 
tions of the reeds with the gourd being ren- 
dered air-tight by a stopping of India-rubber. 
The simple music produced is that of a few notes 



INGENIOUS FORGE. 91 

of a harmonium played low and softly. Another 
instrument is a single reed-pipe, and they have 
gongs of various sizes. 

The men and boys whistle through their 
fingers with great power. The songs of the 
Lushais are low monotonous chants, accom- 
panied by the gourd instrument or drum. 

As a rule, a Lushai village is a long distance 
from any great supply of water ; in consequence 
the Lushais bathe but seldom, and they are 
unable to manage a boat, or swim. They seem 
to have few diseases, and only one man did 
we see marked with small-pox. 

Besides manufacturing cotton cloth, making 
baskets, &c., they work a little in iron. A 
rough but ingenious forge is found in all their 
villages. It is similar to one in use all over 
Lower Bengal, and they have probably learned 
its construction and use from the Bengali 
captives. 

The forge consists of a couple of wooden 
cylinders about two feet high, and eight or nine 
inches in diameter, each furnished with wooden 
pistons, feathers being fastened to the circumfer- 



92 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

ence of the latter as a stuffing to prevent the 
escape of air. The cylinders are placed upright 
in the ground, being buried to a certain depth. 

A small fire-place of stones is constructed in 
front, and two thin "bamboos communicate 
under-ground between this and the cylinders. 
The forge is worked by a man holding the pis- 
tons, one in each hand, and moving them alter- 
nately, thus keeping up a constant supply of 
air. The fuel used is charcoal. 

A very useful spoon, which serves a variety 
of purposes, is made from bamboo. A portion 
about a foot long is cut off above a joint, and 
the bamboo afterwards cut, as in making a quill 
pen ; a scoop with a long handle is made in 
two minutes. 

The bamboo has rightly been called the Hill- 
man's friend, because it supplies him with every- 
thing from a house down to a small drinking-cup. 
I have referred in the course of this chapter to 
many of the various uses to which it is put, 
but there is one which I have not mentioned, 
its use as a vessel in which to carry water from 
the stream. The women perform this operation, 



CHARACTER OF THE NATIVES. 93 

each carrying about half-a-dozen long and large 
bamboos on her back, supported in the manner 
already described. 

Our march through the country not being a 
peaceful one, we had no opportunity of witness- 
ing any of their religious, marriage, or funeral cere- 
monies, and as in several particulars I find that 
the Lushais on our side differ from those de- 
scribed by Captain Lewin as dwelling on the 
Chittagong side, approaching more nearly the 
descriptions given by Major McCulloch of the 
Kookies dwelling in the South of Munipur, 
any quotations made from these authorities might 
be liable to the charge of inaccuracy, when 
applied to the tribes with whom we were brought 
in contact. 

With a few exceptions the Lushais impressed 
us very favourably. Intelligent, merry, and with 
few wants, they were very far removed from 
the utterly irreclaimable savages which, prior to 
the Expedition, our fancy had painted. 



CHAPTER VII. 



LEFT COLUMN OF THE EXPEDITION THE COMMISSARIAT DE- 
PARTMENT POLITICAL OFFICER SILCHAR THE ARTILLERY 
AND SAPPERS FIRST CASUALTY OF THE CAMPAIGN ROUTE 
FROM SILCHAR TO MYNADHUR APPEARANCE OF THE 
COUNTRY DIFFICULTIES OF THE MARCH. 



97 



CHAPTER VII. 

nnHE Cachar or left column of the Lushai Ex- 
pedition consisted of the following troops : 
Half of the Peshawur mountain battery of 
artillery under Captain Blackwood, R.A. ; one 
company of Sappers and Miners under Lieu- 
tenant Harvey, R.E. ; five hundred men of the . 
Punjaub Native Infantry under Colonel Stafford : 
the same number of the 42nd Assam Light 
Infantry under Colonel Rattray, C.B. ; the 
same number of the 44th Assam Light Infantry 
under Colonel Hicks ; and one hundred police 
under Mr. Daly. 

Lieutenant- Colonel Davidson, who was in charge 
of the Commissariat Department, had one thou- 
sand two hundred coolies, and several elephants, 
placed under his orders. A coolie corps consist- 



98 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

ing of eight hundred men intended for the 
carriage of the Sepoys' baggage, was enrolled 
under Major Moore and Captain Branson, assisted 
by Captain Hedayat, native aide-de-camp to the 
Commander-in-Chief.* 

The conduct of the operations of the left 
column was entrusted to Brigadier-General 
Bourchier, C.B., commanding the North-eastern 
Frontier district. On his Staff were Lieutenant- 
Colonel F. Roberts, R.A., V.C., C.B., Deputy- 
Assist. -Quartermaster-General, Capt. H. Thomp- 
son, Brigade Major; and Captain Butler, Aide- 
de-Camp. Dr. Buckle, Inspector-General of 
Hospitals, was in medical charge, and Mr. Edgar 
Deputy-Commissioner of Cachar, accompanied the 
column as Political Officer. 

A gentleman named Burland, of great ex- 
perience on this frontier, who had visited the 
Lushais with Mr. Edgar previously, was appointed 
to act as Assistant Political Officer. His health, 
however, failed, and he never got beyond No. 7 

* A party from the telegraph department, under Mr. Pitman, 
and one of the Topographical Survey, under Captain Badgley, 
were also attached to this column. 



SILCHAB. 99 

Camp, and had to relinquish his appointment 
long before the return of the Expedition. 

Silchar, the Sudder, i.e., principal station of the 
Cachar District, is a small place boasting only 
of a few brick buildings, including the cutcherry 
or court-house, and church. 

There is a large native bazaar, the houses in 
which, as well as those of most of the European 
residents, are built of bamboo and mud. There 
are two large European shops, which, taking ad- 
vantage of the necessities of the troops that 
composed the Expedition, raised their prices 
enormously. They had no fixed scale, but the 
price of their goods was raised when the demand 
for them became much greater than usual. An 
article which could be obtained on our arrival at 
Cachar for one rupee, commanded four rupees 
during the fortnight or so in which the place was 
occupied by our troops. 

It is a very quiet little station, and such an 
exciting event as the passing through of so many . 
troops, lifted it entirely out of its normal state of 
level dulness ; and " Let us make hay while the 
sun shines," was apparently the motto adopted 

H 2 



100 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

by all classes of shop-keepers, European as well 
as native. 

This being the nearest station to Tipai Mukh, 
it was fixed upon as the rendezvous of the various 
corps comprising the Force, and thither all their 
special equipments, waterproof sheets, boots, tools, 
Norton's pumps, &c., had been sent on by water. 
The different corps which arrived in Silchar came 
from Abbdabad, Roorkee, and Assam. 

The Artillery and Sappers were conveyed from 
Calcutta in a Government steamer as far as 
Chattuck, on the River Soorma, picking up the 
22nd P. KT. on their way at Dacca. 

A camp was formed at a place called Kala 
Rokka a few miles above Chattuck, above which 
the state of the river prevented any steamer pro- 
ceeding. From this place, as soon as country 
boats could be obtained, they were brought into 
Cachar. 

The first casualty of the campaign occurred 
on board the Government steamer. It suddenly 
grounded, and a flat attached to it, missing the 
shoal, went ahead, snapping the hawsers. One 
of these flying back, caught a native attached to 



POSTS ON THE SYLHET. 101 

the battery, and broke his leg so badly that 
immediate amputation was necessary. 

The 44th arrived from Shillong on the 9th 
November, the Artillery and Sappers on the 
18th ; and the 22nd and 42nd a few days later. 

The General and Staff had arrived about the 
16th, and the next few days were devoted to the 
distribution of the waterproof sheets, boots, &c., 
to the troops and coolies ; and to the reduction 
of the kits of officers and men to the appointed 
limits of weight, twenty seers, or about forty 
pounds for an officer, and twelve for a sepoy. 
Each corps was also supplied with coolies and 
inspected by the General. 

While the General was in Silchar, he saw 
reasons for coming to the conclusion that the 
posts already established on the Sylhet and 
Cachar frontier were not sufficiently far south, 
either to protect his right flank, or to enable 
him to bring any pressure upon Sukpilal and 
Khalkom, should they throw in their lot with 
the Howlongs, or Eastern tribes, and therefore, 
ordered the officer commanding the 4th N.L, 
then stationed in Cachar, to occupy a hill called 



102 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Benkong on the Noonvai range, and another point 
on the Rengtipahar, near the Koloshib Hill, cutting 
roads from them to the Sonai and Dullesur rivers 
respectively, in order to bring these posts into 
communication by water with Cachar arrange- 
ments which were most successfully carried out. 

General Nuthall had been requested to move 
the Rajah of Munipur to post detachments on 
the Southern frontier, flanked by a force near 
the Nivirang Lake. So great, however, were 
the difficulties which interfered with the accom- 
plishment of this design, that these posts were 
never established.. 

Great doubt had existed as to the best route 
from Silchar to Mynadhur. Two routes were 
possible; one over the Buban range via Monier- 
khal ; and the other round by Luckipur and the 
banks of the Barak. 

The former was the one originally intended to 
be adopted. The road for three miles beyond 
Monierkhal was nearly level, but from thence 
the existing path led up the face of the hill, cer- 
tainly at a very steep gradient, crossing the 
range at nearly its highest point. 



BANKS OF THE BARAK. 103 

Colonel Roberts, and Colonel Nuthall of the 
44th N.I., went out to explore this route ; but, 
unaccustomed as they then were to hill-climbing 
and steep rough paths, the difficulties which 
presented themselves seemed to them insur- 
mountable. They failed, moreover, to find water 
anywhere between the foot of the range on the 
one side, and Mynadhur on the other, and con- 
sequently all idea of adopting this route was 
abandoned. 

The next thing to be done was to find the path 
which, though seldom used, was said to exist 
between Luckipur and Mynadhur, and accord- 
ingly some Cachari Kookies were sent out to 
look for it. 

The whole of the country on either bank of 
the Barak is very difficult. Long spurs are sent 
down from the Bubans on one side, and the 
Noonjaibong range on the other. These run 
steeply down to the very water's edge, and are 
separated from each other by deep and boggy 
ravines, and covered with the densest jungle. 

The coolies, having either found some ele- 
phants' tracks, or observed paths used by wood- 



104 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

cutters, or, which is more likely, having cut 
one out for themselves straight ahead, shirking 
no obstacles, returned to report their success, 
and the 44th were sent out to improve and widen 
the path so discovered, and make it practicable 
for laden elephants a portion of the pro- 
gramme which was never accomplished. 

The 44th marched out of Silchar on the 21st 
November to Luckipur, and ten Sappers left 
in boats on the same day for Mynadhur. The 
road, which, as far as Luckipur, is the high 
road to Munipur, was very good, and from this 
point to Alui tea-garden but few difficulties were 
encountered. Beyond this, however, it lay 
along the left bank of the river, crossing the 
spurs before mentioned, rising and falling con- 
tinually, often as much as seven hundred feet, 
and always with a very steep gradient. Through- 
out its whole length there was not a single level 
portion extending to the distance of one hundred 
yards. It was altogether a most fatiguing and 
harassing road the march along which reminded 
one of the old King of France, of whom we are 
told, that " He, with all his men, marched up 
the hill, to march down again." 



FOREST SCENERY. 105 

The road, or rather path for it never aspired 
to be anything more lay through a jungle of 
fine forest trees, from the branches of which huge 
creepers hung in graceful festoons, with a pro- 
fusion of tall bamboos and cane all around, while 
tangled thorns and shrubs, with a network of 
long roots, covered every inch of ground between 
these. Regarded as forest scenery, the aspect 
of the road was very fine ; but to troops on the 
march, the irritation caused by its difficulties 
interfered materially with any appreciation of 
the beautiful in which they could indulge. 

" On either hand 

Uprose the trunks with underwood entwined, 
Making one thicket, thorny, dense, and blind, 
Where, with our axes, labouring half the day, 
We scarcely made some half a rod of way." 

Compared with this route, I cannot help think- 
ing that a little engineering would have made 
a better one over the Buban, and certainly a 
much shorter one. Afterwards, as we shall see 
at Chepui, laden elephants encountered and 
overcame the difficulties of a much worse path 
than that over the Buban, as it existed at first; 



106 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

whereas the elephants, with their loads, could 
not be sent by the other road to Mynadhur, 
their burdens having to be taken on in boats. 

As to the difficulty about water in the Buban, 
Captain Badgley, passing over with a survey 
party for the first time, to join the head-quar- 
ters, saw near the very highest points of the 
path a ravine in which his practised eye led 
him to suspect that the precious fluid might be 
found, and sending some of his men down into 
it, a stream was discovered within two hundred 
yards of the path, which afterwards sufficed at 
one time for the wants of more than four hun- 
dred coolies, without any sensible decrease in 
the supply. This fact renders it evident that 
if a survey party, " the pioneers of civilisation," 
had been allowed to precede the column as far 
as it could with safety, instead of remaining idle 
in Cachar for a month, great expense, and much 
loss of time, would have been saved. 

In the meantime news had arrived in Cachar 
that the Coolie corps, under Captain Heydayat 
Ali, had been attacked by cholera at Kala Rokka ; 
and Colonel Sheriff, 42nd Light Infantry, Major 



CONVALESCENT CAMP. 107 

Moore, with Drs. White and Gregg, were sent 
down to that camp. The medical and embark- 
ing authorities at Calcutta are stated to have 
protested against the crowding of eight hundred 
coolies into two flats, but their protest was of no 
avail. The coolies were neither accompanied by 
any European officer, nor had sufficient medical aid 
been provided for them. The ordinary precautions 
to prevent overcrowding, so strictly enforced in 
the case of labourers imported to work in the 
tea-gardens, seem to have been entirely disre- 
garded ; and the result was what might have been 
anticipated. 

Dr. White, on his arrival, divided the coolies 
into three camps, at different points along the 
river. While the hospital remained at Kala Eokka, 
a convalescent camp was established some few 
miles further up the stream ; but, notwithstand- 
ing these and other judicious measures, with the 
exertions of the medical officers, the disease was 
not got entirely under control till towards the 
end of December; by which time the number 
of the coolie corps was reduced to three hundred 
and eighty-seven. 



108 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

A very serious strain was thus brought on 
the Commissariat Department, who were called 
on to supply carriage for the baggage of the 
troops, as well as for their own stores. Fortu- 
nately water-carriage was available as far as Tipai 
Mukh ; and the collector of Sylhet undertook, 
in our emergency, to supply three hundred 
coolies to fill up the vacancies caused by the 
outbreak of cholera. 

This incident is only one of the many examples 
we have had, in almost all our expeditions, of 
that inattention to details which is so conspicuous 
a defect in British arrangements, and was at no 
time more remarkable than in the Crimean war. 
In the present instance, it well nigh perilled the 
success of this Expedition at its very outset. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



MYNADHUR THE TELEGRAPH A DAILY POST ESTABLISHED 
ROUTE TO TIPAI MUKH SCENERY ON THE BARAK TRIAL 
OP ELEPHANTS ENCAMPMENT THE GOORKHAS VARIOUS 
STATIONS TIPAI MUKH BRIDGE BUILT BY KOOKIES A 
NATIVE SAPPER THE COMMISSARIAT FLEET OP BOATS A 
LUSHAI IDEA. 



Ill 



CHAPTER VIII. 

ll/TYNADHUR, the last and most outlying of 
the tea-gardens, is prettily situated on 
the left bank of the Barak, where the river, 
taking a semi-circular bend, leaves a long stretch 
of tolerably level ground between its banks and 
the foot of the hills. The garden covers several 
low tilas, the bungalow crowning one of them ; 
and beneath this, on the river's bank, are the 
huts and bazaar of the coolie labourers. There 
is also a small stockade of ancient bamboos, the 
weakness and ruinous state of which sufficiently 
indicate the sense of security felt by the in- 
habitants of the garden, who, however, have a 
small police-guard generally stationed there. 
Though so far removed from all aid, this garden 
has never, I believe, been attacked by Lushais, 



112 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

owing probably to the extreme difficulty of the 
country between it and their own border. 

The General and Staff arrived at Mynadhur, 
about the 29th November, with one wing of the 
44th and the Sappers. The jungle about 
Mynadhur consisting principally of bamboo, no 
difficulty was experienced in speedily construct- 
ing barracks, hospitals, magazines, godowns, and 
officers' quarters. 

Commissariat stores for three months had 
been collected here, and ordnance and other stores 
were arriving ; while a fleet of small boats, of the 
light tonnage necessary for passing the rapids and 
shallows of the Barak higher up, had been sent 
down from Sylhet and Cachar. 

The boatmen in these districts had the most 
intense horror of this part of the country, and it 
was with great difficulty that they were induced 
to go with their boats ; many preferring to sink 
them, while they themselves disappeared in some 
place of concealment till the danger was past. 

Meanwhile, the line of telegraph from Cachar 
had been carried down to Mynadhur ; the telegraph 
party, under their energetic chief, having brought 



LUSHAIS IN CAMP. 113 

it over the Buban, in the face of many obstacles. 
A telegraph office was at once opened; and a 
daily post was established between Silchar and 
Mynadhur ; so that by the first week in December, 
the head-quarters of the Force were in communi- 
cation with Calcutta, both by telegraph and post. 

The road onwards to Tipai Mukh was at once 
commenced, and some friendly Lushais having re- 
presented the best route to be on the Munipur 
bank, the beginning of it was made on that side. 

It may be necessary to explain the presence of 
these Lushais in camp. Mr. Edgar, who was still 
in Cachar, having sent messages to Sukpilal, was 
anxiously awaiting their return. Eight Lushais 
from Poiboi's villages arrived with presents, but 
they were men of small account and not entrusted 
with any definite overtures. They said that they 
had met Raipa, an old Kookie who had been dis- 
possessed by the Lushais, and who accompanied 
the column as guide and interpreter. This Raipa 
was then exploring to find a route, but these men 
said to Mr. Edgar that he was not likely to find 
one in the direction taken by him, but that they 
knew of one by which they would guide the troops. 



114 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

and four of them were sent down for that purpose. 

The scenery all up the Barak is extremely 
beautiful, lofty wooded hills coming down to the 
water's edge, and receding here and there, so as 
to afford glimpses of more distant ranges, while 
large rocks and sandy strips diversify the 
character of the banks. The river winds about 
very much, the bends presenting a series of pic- 
tures, the elements of which, wooded hills, rocks, 
and water, though ever the same, are constantly 
varying in arrangement ; and in the varieties of 
light and shade, each differs from the other in 
some point of detail, but on the whole all appear 
equally beautiful. Alligators bask in the sun here 
and there on the rocks, sliding off lazily into the 
deep pools beneath when a boat approaching too 
near rouses them from their slumbers. 

As the head-quarters advanced, the regiments in 
rear followed up in order, each working on a 
certain portion of the road. The Artillery was 
left in Oachar till the road to Mynadhur was re- 
ported fit for elephants, and they did not get the 
order to march till the 2nd December. 

The time, however, was not wasted; the ex- 



CAMPS. 115 

periment of elephants instead of mules, as animals 
of draught, was to be tried in this campaign ; and 
the gunners not having received their elephants 
till their arrival in Oachar, they were fully em- 
ployed in altering and refitting their equipment, 
many portions of which were entirely novel and 
untried. The strength of the battery was also 
made up by drafts from the 42nd and 22nd regi- 
ments, and these had to be instructed in their new 
work ; but when the order for the march arrived 
it found them all ready and in first rate order. 

The^road onwards from Mynadhur was similar 
in character to that up to it, precipitous and 
jungly. Four camps were established between 
Mynadhur and Tipai Mukh. These camps were 
numbered from one to four ; a large board being 
nailed up on a tall tree near the entrance to each, 
with an inscription roughly painted in black, 
66 Station No. 1, &c." 

A description of one will suffice for all, as well 
as for many of the others formed south of Tipai 
Mukh. 

Arrived at the halting place, all the troops 
went to work cutting down branches of trees and 

i 2 



116 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

bamboos, collecting leaves, grass, &c. In this 
work the active little Goorkhas of the 44th N. I., 
were much more at home than their up-country 
brethren in arms, who at first used to look help- 
lessly on, while the former, springing into trees 
like monkeys, lopped off branches, collected 
bamboos, &c., and had quickly constructed com- 
fortable ranges of cantos, with a low raised bamboo 
floor as a sleeping place, before the others had 
made up their minds what to do. 

All the Sepoys had been supplied with kookries, 
a peculiar kind of native knife, most effective in 
cutting jungle when successfully used. The 
Goorkhas, as a rule, were possessed of their own, 
but those supplied by Government were soon use- 
less, often breaking after the first few blows, 
efficiency having been sacrificed to economy. 

A large number of Cachari, Mekir, and Kookie 
coolies were with the advance, and these men were 
very expert in cutting jungle and building huts. 
In an almost incredibly short space of time, they 
ran up quarters for the General and other officers 
with him. The framework was fastened together 
by strips of bark, and the walls consisted of 



STATIONS. 117 

bamboo, leaves, and grass. Each hut was fur- 
nished with a standing bedstead, a table and stool 
of bamboo. Outside was the mess-table, the super- 
structure of which was formed of split bamboo, 
supported by legs of rough timber ; and around 
it were seats constructed also of split bamboo. 

It was astonishing how soon a waste, howling 
wilderness of jungle was transformed into a 
pleasant camp ; and as abundance of fire- wood was 
at hand, large camp-fires were always maintained, 
which tended to keep these halting-places drier 
and healthier than might have been expected. 

All these stations were situated close to the 
river's edge; a position by which an ample supply 
of water was secured, and the Commissariat's 
boats were able to provide the troops with the 
necessary provisions every evening the coolies 
being thus set free for road-making. The rapids 
proved passable for boats up to two hundred 
maunds, though they were dragged through these 
with difficulty. 

At No. 3, the road again crossed to the Cachar 
side, and so continued to Tipai Mukh. A floating 
bridge of ingenious construction provided a con- 



118 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

venient passage across the river at each of the 
three points where the road changes from one side 
to the other. The bridge consisted of an octagonal 
raft of bamboo and matting, slung down stream 
at two adjacent corners by large cane loops to a 
very strong rope of cane ; which, firmly fastened 
at each end to trees on either bank, hung slackly 
in the water. The raft was worked backwards 
and forwards by two men hauling the rope 
through the loops. 

General Bourchier reconnoitred Tipai Mukh in 
person on the 9th, and notwithstanding predictions 
to the contrary, no stockade or other demonstra- 
tion of hostility was discovered. The place was 
found to be admirably suited for a large camp 
or depot. 

It is situated, as its name implies, at the con- 
fluence of the Tuivai (according to the Lushais, 
miscalled Tipai by us) or Tipai with the Barak, 
at the point where the latter, flowing in a south- 
westerly direction through Munipur, takes a 
sudden turn northward. At that season of the 
year the Tuivai was reduced to a small stream of 
about fifty yards in width, leaving on its southern 



GOOD CAMPING GEOUND. 119 

bank a large stretch of shingly beach, which, with 
a high sandy plateau, formed a square of some 
seven acres, bounded on the east and north by the 
Tuivai, west by the Barak, and south by a steep 
wooded hill, the end of a spur from a range to 
the south-west. 

North of the Tuivai again, along the left bank 
of the Barak, was another long strip of sand and 
shingle, of some ten acres in extent. No doubt 
when the rains set in, the rivers, swollen and 
turbulent, rushing violently past their banks, 
and coming suddenly into collision, cover this 
bare space with a mass of seething waters ; but 
in December, when they had sunk to quiet peace- 
able streams, it afforded us good dry camping 
ground. 

On the south beach, Commissariat and Ord- 
nance godowns were erected, and the Artillery 
and Engineer parks found accommodation, while, 
on the sandy plateau above, officers' quarters, 
mess, &c., were established. 

On the northern strip, Hospitals and Sepoys' 
lines were built, sufficient space remaining for 
a camping ground for elephants ; and a light 



120 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

bridge was thrown across the Tipai by the 
Cachari Kookies. Practical fellows these, caring 
little for mathematics and theory. While a 
scientific officer was calculating, in a hut close by, 
the strength of timber necessary for the bridge, 
the weight of troops likely to pass over it, the 
force of the current, and other considerations to 
which education and engineering books teach us 
to attach importance, as necessary to the safe con- 
struction of a bridge, these Kookies, who had 
never heard of Tredgold, and probably would not 
be any handier if they had, had actually built a 
bridge with the materials, small timber and 
bamboos, nearest to hand a bridge built so 
substantially that it lasted throughout the cam- 
paign. When the aforesaid Engineer officer came 
out with his design and calculation, faultless, no 
doubt, in every detail, we may feel sure he 
looked rather surprised when he saw his work 
done for him. 

I may here mention another amusing incident. 

Colonel Stafford and Captain 1 Harvey, E.E., 
were talking to a soubadar of the 22nd, when 
the latter expressed his opinion that if the 



AMUSING INCIDENT. 121 

Lushais only dammed up the Tipai a few miles 
above the camp, till a large volume of water had 
accumulated, and then let it out, it would sweep 
away the camp entirely. 

Captain Harvey said, "Perhaps the soubadar 
will be good enough to explain the size of the 
dam, where it could be constructed to be out of 
the reach of our troops, and also the amount of 
water necessary for this work of annihila- 
tion." 

Here his orderly, with the usual freedom of 
natives, joined in the conversation by saying, 
" Of what use is it asking the soubadar, Sahib, 
these questions, only we Sappers know all this 
kind of work." 

Considering that a native Sapper knows very 
little, if anything, more than an ordinary Sepoy, 
this calm assumption of superiority was delicious. 

A strong picquet was placed on the hill before 
mentioned, the trees cleared away, and a small 
field-work thrown up, at an elevation of two 
hundred feet above the camp, with which it com- 
municated by a small zigzag trench, which it 
commanded, as well as a long reach of the Tipai, 



122 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

thus preventing the possibility of a surprise from 
the south. 

A similar work was constructed on the hill 
to the north-east of the Tuivai, guarding against 
attack from that direction. The north end of 
the camp was further protected by a small trench 
and breastwork, extending across the strip of 
sand to the river's edge. 

Of course all this laborious work was not 
accomplished at once, but to prevent confusion, 
I have described all these details here. The 
great disadvantage of this camp was that, lying 
low, surrounded by wooded hills rising above 
it to a height of twelve hundred feet, every 
evening as the sun sank behind the western hills, 
fog and mist slowly settled down upon it, and 
did not lift till late next morning. 

The day after the General made his appearance 
at Tipai Mukh, a fleet of two hundred boats, 
laden with stores under the command of Mr. 
Patch, District Superintendent of Sylhet Police, 
and escorted by some of the 44th, also arrived. 

Mr. Patch's services had been placed specially 
at the disposal of the Military authorities, and 



EOAP-MAKING. 123 

throughout the Expedition he continued to com- 
mand this Commissariat Fleet, a duty involving 
hard and monotonous work, which was little likely 
to be varied by any excitement ; but on the able 
and zealous performance of which depended 
much of the success of the Expedition, and this 
ability and zeal were not wanting. 

Having advanced so far, the next thing to be 
done was to find the onward path and convert 
it into a road. The General and Colonel Roberts, 
under the guidance of a Lushai, attempted to 
explore a road towards Kholel, but it was ex- 
ceedingly steep and rocky. One of the Lushais 
then in camp, a Muntri of Poiboi, Darpong by 
name, stated that if it was made worth his while 
he might be able to find a better way. Mr. 
Edgar arrived at Tipai Mukh on the 12th Decem- 
ber, and hearing what Darpong had said, sent 
him and Raipa to explore the country. 

Mr. Edgar, after his arrival, advised the 
General to push on to Kholel for the following 
reasons. While they remained at Tipai, they 
had not the opportunity of opening communi- 
cations with friendly or neutral tribes, which 



124 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

would be afforded by occupying Kholel, situated 
as it was between the villages of Khalsom, Lalhi, 
and Sinpaun on the one side, and Poiboi's on 
the other ; all of which were supposed to come 
under one or other of the above classifications. 

An idea had also become prevalent among the 
Lushais that the force would never get beyond 
Tipai Mukh ; but would remain there till negoti- 
ations were entered into, or some of the tribes 
submitted. It therefore seemed of great import- 
ance that an onward move should be made, to 
convince the Lushais that we really meant to 
go through their country, and also to force them 
to adopt some decisive policy towards us. 

It was therefore determined to advance on 
the 16th. A working party had been sent on the 
14th to a point about two and a half miles along 
the elephant track pointed out by Darpong, 
where was a level piece of ground with two small 
streams running through it. Here our party 
camped and set to work on improving the track, 
and thither the head-quarters proceeded on 
the 16th. 

As the road had to be explored each day, and 



DIFFICULTIES OF CONSTRUCTION. 125 

the next day's camp ahead settled beforehand, 
the advance was necessarily slow. The road, as 
far as the Senvong range, followed a tolerably 
easy gradient, and lay through slightly less diffi- 
cult jungle than had been previously encountered. 
The principal difficulties which impeded its con- 
struction arose from the very rocky character 
of the hill in several places, which necessitated 
a good deal of blasting. Water was met with 
in several places. 



CHAPTER IX. 



VILLAGE SITES RUMOURS DARPONG THE SENVONQ RANGE 
FIRST VIEW OP THE LUSHAI COUNTRY EXTRAORDINARY HILL 
SYMBOLIC WARNINGS TO THE TROOPS WEIR FOR CATCHING 
FISH ATTEMPTS TO STOP THE ADVANCE A SKIRMISH 
CHRISTMAS DAY. 



129 



CHAPTER IX. 

TATION No, 5 was situated on the site of 
an old Kookie' village about five miles from 
Tipai Mukh, and No. 6 near the top of the 
Senvong range, six miles further on. 

This last station was reached on the 19th. 
Fragrant limes, cinnamon, and walnut trees were 
found on the sites of the old villages ; the limes 
were a pleasing addition to our hot rum and 
water after dinner. The village sites passed on 
the way to No. 6 had belonged to Kookies, and 
had been deserted in consequence of the aggres- 
sions of the Lushais. The latter had not occu- 
pied them, as they were too near our frontier. 
As our cultivated territory advanced south, the 
Lushais seem gradually to have withdrawn, keep- 
ing the boundary line of their villages and culti- 

K 



130 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

vation nearly parallel to that of ours, a belt of 
impenetrable jungle intervening. 

On the 18th some Lushais were met with, 
who ran away, but shortly after the exploring 
party came up again with some of them, who said 
they were Kholel men. 

Two of these returned to camp in the evening ; 
and from their statements it appeared that a large 
number of Lushais were collected at the Tuibum. 
These they represented as friendly, but from a 
remark made by one of them, it was gathered 
that they had received orders to oppose our pro- 
gress. The Lushais also said a party of a hundred 
and fifty men had gone in the direction of the Bu- 
bans. Notice of this was at once sent back to 
Tipai Mukh and Mynadhur, with orders to the com- 
manders at those places to warn all survey and 
telegraph parties. 

In the evening, Darpong and the others asked 
to be allowed to return to their villages. They 
evidently expected that a collision would surely 
take place between us and the Lushais, and were 
afraid to be found in our camp when such an 
event should happen. 



THE SENVONG EANGE. 131 

The General, thinking nothing was to be gained 
by keeping them against their will, decided to let 
them go; a decision attended, as we shall see 
hereafter, with the happiest results. 

These men left on the 19th, charged with mes- 
sages to their people, to the effect that our object 
was to recover the captives taken by Lalboora 
and Tangdong, and that we had no quarrel with 
the people of Poiboi or Lalhi, so long as they re- 
frained from molesting us. 

A halt was made on the 20th, in order to get 
up supplies, and reconnoitre the route onwards. 
The old route to Kholel was found to have been 
closed by the Lushais ; but another, along the 
ridge of the hill, was said to lead straight to 
Yanbong. This latter route turned out to be a 
very good one, and a camping-ground with good 
water was discovered at the top of a spur leading 
to the Tuibum. 

The Senvong range is a long, lofty spur, 

its average elevation being nearly four thousand 

feet above the level of the sea. It is tolerably 

open, having once been extensively cultivated, 

, but the old jooms are now covered with long grass. 

K 2 



132 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

From the higher points of this range, the first 
extensive views of the Lushai country were ob- 
tained. Far away to the north-east, stretched 
the Munipur ranges; to the east, the distant 
Lushai hills, rising above" the lower and nearer 
ranges ; some clothed in every variety of green, 
while in others the forest was broken and re- 
lieved by the warm tints of masses of sandstone 
and red clay, of which these hills consist. 

About fourteen miles to the south-east, a great 
round-looking mass, sending out long, level spurs, 
stood up, brown and bare, from the countless 
jooms upon its face; and on the spurs north and 
south, appeared the villages of Tingridum and 
Chepui ; the gabled ends of new bamboo houses 
glistening in the sun like little whited temples. 

Behind these, rose the high and rugged ranges 
known as Surklang, Muthilen, and Lengteng ; 
while nearer, appeared the high Kholel Range, 
on a bare ridge of which we could still discover 
the site of Voupilars great village ; and nearer still, 
across the valley of Tuivai, and hiding the hills 
to the south, was the Vanbong hill, a large level 
mass, with broad sloping spurs, cleared of a good 



MOMRANG. 133 

deal of the forests for the jooms and villages of 
the people who had lately removed thither from 
Kholel on the death of Youpilal. 

Between Kholel and Vanbong, looking down 
the valley of the Tipai, the scene was closed by 
an extraordinary hill, called Momrang, sloping 
gradually away on the east, but ending towards 
the west in an abrupt precipice, and forming an 
excellent landmark ; while on the west, the ranges 
of Rengtipahar, Noonvai, &c., rose one above the 
other, till lost in the haze of the far off horizon ; 
and here and there in the valleys below glistened 
the silvery bends of the Tuivai and its affluents. 

On the 22nd, the head-quarters, with Mr. 
Edgar and Colonel NuthalPs wing of the 44th, 
descended to the Tuibum stream. This was a 
difficult and trying march, the spur being very 
steep, and the jungle thick bamboo, especially 
near the river. 

In several places the Lushais had put up some 
symbols, intended as warnings to the troops not 
to advance. One was a small model of a gallows, 
made of bamboos, with rough pieces of wood 
intended to represent men hanging from it ; and 



i 

134 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

another consisted of small strips of bamboo stuck 
into the trunk of a felled tree, from the wounds 
of .which, a deep red sap, strongly resembling 
blood, exuded indicating to the troops the 
fate that awaited them if they persisted in the 
advance. 

At the spot where the path comes out on the 
Tuibum, was a weir made of bamboo and stones 
for catching fish, and on the opposite bank was a 
bamboo watch-house raised some twelve feet from 
the ground. On this weir, and beneath this house, 
some forty or fifty Lushais were collected. They 
yelled out to our men to turn back, and made 
threatening demonstrations. It was explained to 
them, as before, that no harm was intended them 
if they offered no opposition to our advance, 
and that our path led us that way, and the 
General was determined to follow it ; the General 
moreover ordered the 44th not to fire unless 
attacked first. 

The advance was then continued over the weir, 
and the Lushais retired without firing, but still 
shouting. As we proceeded onwards we soon 
came to another bend of the river, where it had 



ADVANCE ON KHOLEL. 135 

to be forded. Here ensued another parley, the 
Lushais wishing us to wait where we were, and 
their Muntries would be sent in to the General. 

These attempts to stop the advance were re- 
peated without success at each ford till at last the 
Tuivai itself was crossed, and the Lushais dis- 
appeared. The force encamped on the bank of 
the Tuivai, near its junction with the Tuibum. 

Tn the evening a reinforcement of fifty men of 
the 22nd, under Major Stafford, arrived ; and 
the next day, the 23rd, it was determined, by 
marching on Kholel, to give the Lushais no oppor- 
tunity of strengthening their position if they 
wished to fight. So leaving a guard in camp, the 
General took the rest of his force up the hill. 

The ascent was through thick jungle, and very 
steep. Colonel Roberts was in front with the 
advanced guard, and as he arrived at the edge 
of the joom, a Kookie constable , named Panek, 
pointed out that there were some Lushais in the 
joom-house. The Colonel then waited to get the 
men together, a matter of considerable difficulty, 
owing to the narrowness of the path. 

As the foremost skirmishers debouched upon 



136 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

the joom, they were received by a volley from 
the Lushais, by which Panek was dangerously 
wounded. The 22nd then charged, and the 
Lushais fired one more volley and disappeared 
over the crest of the hills above. 

The joom-house was found to be full of grain, 
which was at once destroyed, and the little force 
continued its toilsome ascent, driving the Lushais 
from joom to joom. The tactics adopted by the 
latter were to post themselves at the top of each 
steep ascent, in positions commanding the entrance 
to the jooms, and as the foremost men came out 
into the open, to fire a volley at them and dis- 
appear into the heavy jungle. 

Of course their style of fighting, the steep- 
ness of the hillside, and the denseness of the forest, 
all favoured the Lushais, and were against us. 
From frequent traces of blood found about, it was 
tolerably evident that the enemy did suffer much 
loss ; but of course it was impossible to ascertain its 
extent, as the Lushais have a superstition that if 
the head of a man slain in battle falls into the 
hands of his enemy, the man himself becomes the 
slave of the victor in the next world ; and conse- 



DESTRUCTION OP VILLAGES. 137 

quently they will make any effort to carry off their 
dead and wounded, or to conceal them till the 
enemy has retired. On the other hand they spare 
no pains, and often fear no danger, in the endeavour 
to obtain the heads of their enemies. 

Storehouses full of grain were found in each 
joom, which were all destroyed; and after skirmish- 
ing up the hill for about three hours, two villages 
recently constructed were reached and burnt 
down. A third, near which a stream of water 
was found, the General determined to occupy, 
and he sent back to the camp on the Tuivai for 
the baggage; in the meantime continuing the 
march to Kalhi's chief village, which had been 
seen from Senvong, and was near the summit 
of the Vanbong ridge. It was at last discovered 
at a height of three thousand three hundred feet- 
above the camp of the morning. 

The Lushais made an attempt to defend the 
village, but the 44th drove them out, losing 
two men in the assault. The village was then 
burnt, and the troops returned to the one pre- 
viously fixed upon for occupation. Shortly after 
their arrival the Lushais commenced firing 



1 38 THE -LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

into the camp from the forest which surrounded 
it closely, and wounded a sentry of the 22nd. 
Two other men of this regiment had also been 
wounded, one dangerously, in the course of the 
skirmishing. 

Doolies, a kind of canvas hammock slung on 
a long pole, and carried on the shoulders of a 
couple of coolies, always accompanied the troops, 
for the conveyance of the wounded. 

Shots were exchanged between the Lushais 
and our sentries all through the night. Two 
flint-locks were picked up in the morning near 
the left picket, and the ground all round was 
stained with blood. 

Major Stafford patrolled down to the camp on 
the Tuivai to get up supplies, skirmishing with 
the enemy each way. 

The General also, with Colonel Roberts and a 
party of the 44th, under Captain Robertson, went 
out to another village to the south. This was 
carried at a rush by the Goorkhas, and shared 
the fate of the villages on the previous day. In 
this affair only one man was wounded. 

While this was going on, some of the troops 



CHRISTMAS DAY. 139 

left in camp were employed in clearing the jungle 
round the village, a work which was attended 
with good results ; as the Lushais, deprived of 
cover close to the sentries, did not annoy them 
much during the night. 

The next day Christmas Day the 44th went 
out again, under Captains Lightfoot and Robert- 
son, and burnt some twenty well-filled granaries, 
They secured the body and gun of one Lushai, 
which were sent into camp. The casualties on 
their side were four men wounded, one of whom 
was badly hit in the forehead. 

Major Stafford also patrolled down to the lower 
camp and back again, fighting each way. 

The Kookies in camp were greatly excited when 
the Lushai' s body was taken in, and were very 
anxious to cut off his head, but of course they 
were not allowed to do so. Old Eaipa, on 
finding that he could not have his desire upon 
his enemy, set up a dismal wail which must have 
been heard for miles. 

In the evening all the officers assembled at the 
head-quarter mess, to keep up as far as possible 
the semblance of Christmas. They sat at a table 



140 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

raised in a conspicuous position, with candles 
burning before them, and Lushais firing from the 
jungle close by. 

Whether from some idea that the death of a 
white man would be more severely revenged than 
that of a Sepoy, or from some superstitious 
notion, it is impossible to say ; but notwithstand- 
ing the excellent mark which the dinner-table 
and its lights presented to them, no shots were 
fired in that direction though single sentries 
posted quite near to it were hit. 

Another curious fact is that, when some songs 
were sung after dinner, the Lushais stopped 
firing altogether while the singing lasted, com- 
mencing again when the song was over. 

While occupying this village, it was discovered 
that the path which would take us in the direc- 
tion of Lalboora passed by old Kholel, and that 
consequently a mistake had been made in coming 
up to the new Kholel villages. It was therefore 
determined to retire to the weir across the 
Tuibum, where were Colonel Stafford's wing of 
the 22nd and the Sappers, and seek for the 
path thence to Poiboi. 



APPARENT RETREAT. 141 

Moreover, the village which we then occupied 
was not tenable for any length of time, the 
Lushais getting daily more wary and skilful ; and 
being favoured by the jungle they made the 
camp too hot for our troops. 

Two shots closely following each other, and 
invariably coming from the same spot, induced 
the idea that one of the Lushais was armed with 
a double-barrelled gun, and was a better marks- 
man than his fellows. It was found afterwards, 
however, that two men, .brothers, hunted together. 
We also learned subsequently that one of them 
was killed in a skirmish, and no more was heard 
of the double barrel. 

On the 26th, when it was determined to return 
to the Tuibum a Goorkha, Robertson's orderly, 
was shot through the heart as he was rolling up 
the bedding from which his master had just risen, 
in a house in the midst of the village. 

As the return to the weir must have looked to the 
Lushais very much like a retreat, it was neces- 
sary to keep them in ignorance of that movement 
as long as possible, and by occupying their 
attention prevent them from following their usual 



142 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

tactics of lying in wait for the long string of 
coolies and followers, and firing into it. 

The retreat was executed most successfully and 
skilfully. The 22nd formed the advance. The 
baggage and sick were sent on in front, under 
the protection of some of the 44th, distributing 
a couple of files between the coolies at short 
intervals. The remainder of the 44th formed 
the rear-guard, and were accompanied by the 
General himself, and Colonel Roberts. 

The day was bright and clear, the air crisp 
and cold, and below in the valley lay the soft 
white mist, as the first detachment moved out 
of the village. The 22nd had, as before men- 
tioned, patrolled down to the Tuivai for two days 
in the same manner, and did not excite any notice 
on the part of the Lushais, who were busily en- 
gaged in exchanging shots with the picquets. The 
coolies were thus all got safely out of the camp ; 
the picquets were driven in, and the village fired 
by a party of Kookies. The Lushais then dis- 
covered the manoeuvre, but too late, for the 
coolies were well ahead, and the rear-guard was 
between them. They tried, however, wherever the 



THE GOOEKHAS. 143 

nature of the ground gave them a chance, to get 
by the rear-guard and attack the coolies ; but 
they were baffled by the Goorkhas, " who," in 
the words of one of the staff-officers present, 
" extending rapidly where the ground allowed, 
retired through their supports as if on parade." 
The troops were admirably led by Colonel Nuthall 
and Captain Robertson. 



CHAPTER X. 



TEMPORARY CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES THE LTJSHAI AC- 
COUNT OP THE KHOLEL AFFAIR DIFFICULTY OF COMMUNI- 
CATING WITH THE NATIVES A GUIDE FOR THE SURVEY 
OFFICERS THE MUNIPUR CONTINGENT POIBOl'S PRESENTS 
EVENTS AT TIPAI MUKH LUSHAI ATTACK. 



147 



CHAPTER X. 

rpHE Tuibum was reached without a single 

casualty, a few granaries, which had escaped 

during the advance, being destroyed on the way. 

The catnp was formed on a level piece of 
ground of some extent, close to the fishing weir, 
and a picquet left during the night, in a small 
stockade at the Tuivai camp, was withdrawn the 
next day. This Tuibum encampment was sur- 
rounded on all sides by steep hills, as usual 
covered with forest, and the Lushais, concealed 
among the trees, continued to annoy us by firing 
into it, and at the working parties. The casual- 
ties, however, were not numerous, only a coolie 
and a sapper being wounded. 

The route onward was explored on the 27th, 
and it was found that it ascended the hill soon 

L 2 



143 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

after leaving the weir, leading up a steep and 
narrow spur of a hill called Pabarchung. 

On the 28th the troops remained in camp, 
and were joined by Colonel Rattray and his wing 
of the 42nd AL.D. On" the 29th, the General, 
taking these with him, and accompanied by Cap- 
tain Badgley, went back to the burnt villages. 

The principal object of this Expedition was to 
show the Lushais that, though the force had re- 
tired from that particular hill, they were by no 
means to conclude that it could not return to it, 
for that till they (the Lushais) made submission 
they would get no peace. 

As soon as the detachment left the camp, it 
was fired into from all sides, and one man was 
slightly wounded. 

Coming out on to a joom, after ascending the 
hill for some little distance, the foremost of the 
party saw some Lushais, who fired at them and 
disappeared, not without the loss of one of their 
number, whom they carried off, leaving his rnusket, 
cloth, &c., where he fell. 

Near the first village burnt on the 23rd, as the 
leading skirmisher was making his way along a 



THE CRY OF PEACE. 149 

narrow path, a man wearing a yellow cloak and 
waving a red puggree appeared suddenly before 
him. Fortunately Captain Butler, who was just 
behind, recognised him as Darpong, and stopped 
the advance till the General and Mr. Edgar went 
lip to the front and heard what he had to say ; 
which was that he had been sent by Poiboi to 
stop hostilities at Kholel, and to make peace for 
the villages, and that Poiboi's brother was on his 
way to make terms for their own villages. 

The General consented to a temporary cessa- 
tion of hostilities ; and when he understood this, 
Darpong climbed up into a dead tree, sounded the 
cry of peace to the invisible foes in the jungle, 
and from that moment all firing ceased. Then 
going on to the village, Mr. Edgar proceeded to 
arrange preliminaries with Darpong. The latter 
promised that all firing should stop along our 
route, and that our communications should be 
kept open for us, a promise which was most 
religiously kept ; for though on that afternoon 
Colonel Davidson was fired at a few miles out of 
camp, on his way to Tipai Mukh, by some Lushais 
who could not then have got news of the truce. 



150 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION 

yet with this exception the roads were from that 
moment perfectly safe for dak-runners, coolies 
bringing up supplies, &c. 

Captain Badgley went to the top of the hill and 
took some observations, and then the party re- 
turned to camp. 

While at the village, a great many Lushais 
were hanging about afraid to approach their late 
enemies ; but some officers went out to meet 
them ; and some 

"A little of us by our signs did learn, 
Then went their way, and so at last all fear 
Was laid aside, and thronging they drew near, 
To look upon us 

and upon our swords and revolvers, which they 
examined with great interest. 

The General remained at the Tuibum camp till 
the 6th January, this delay being necessary in 
order to get up sufficient supplies for a further 
advance, as, in the rapid march on Kholel, these 
had been overrun, as well as to complete the com- 
munications with Tipai Mukh ; the time was spent 
in getting up these supplies, and commencing the 
road over Pabarchung, and by Mr. Edgar in 



THE KHOLEL AFFAIR. 151 

constant interviews with the representatives of 
the north and north-eastern Lushais. 

Mr. Edgar tells us that the following is the 

Lushai version of the Kholel business, as far as 



he could learn it from themselves. It will be re- 
membered I mentioned, in a former chapter, that 
Voupilal's people were divided, after his death, 
in their allegiance between his widow and mother ; 
the former of whom lives at Vanbong (New 
Kholel). When our advance was made on Kholel 
the adherents of the latter, being generally 
the older people of the tribe, remembered the 
fate of their villages in Colonel Lister's Expedition, 
and wished to make a show at any rate of friend- 
ship, in order to get on to Poiboi in the East, and 
away from them while the other and younger 
party wished to oppose and advance, and dwelt 
on the fact that in 1849 the force had to hurry 
out of the country. 

On the other hand, if the Kholel people opposed 
us unsuccessfully, there was danger of all their 
villages to the west being attacked, and it was 
equally Poiboi's interest to keep us, if possible, 
from reaching his territory. This would account 



152 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

for the Lushais* remark at No. 6, that the 
people of Vanbong had been ordered to oppose 
our advance at the Tuibum. 

" The two parties do not seem to have come 
to any decision, but probably there was a tacit 
compromise that if we did not attempt to visit 
Vanbong we should not be opposed, and that in 
this case the Kholel people would keep on out- 
wardly friendly terms with us, unless we met 
with some disaster ahead, when they might fall 
upon us with perfect safety. 

" Of course it would have been impossible for 
us to accept such a situation. It was almost a 
necessity for us to make every village behind 
safe before taking a step in advance. From the 
position of the New Kholel group of villages it 
could have done us more injury than any other, 
and we could not make sure of it without visiting 
it and leaving a party in a position to command 
all the villages." 

The Lushais say that they did not intend to 
provoke hostilities on the 23rd; but that the 
rashness of some of their youths committed them 
to the attack, and then all were compelled to 
unite in order to get rid of us. 



LUSHAI HOSTAGES. 153 

In the return of the troops to Tuibum, leaving 
some of the villages still standing, they recognised, 
as they thought, a similar proceeding to that of 
Colonel Lister, and expected we were now about 
to leave the country. The people began there- 
fore to re-occupy their houses and bring back 
their families from the various places of safety 
to which they had been sent, and also to 
harass our communications. Contrary to their 
expectations, however, when they saw General 
Bourchier marching towards their villages again 
on the 29th, instead of retiring as fast as possible 
on Tipai Mukh, a panic seized them ; and a village 
council being hastily held, instant submission was 
urged. The Western people also advised the 
same step, and those whose villages had been de- 
stroyed, were compelled to yield with a bad grace. 

Then carne the difficulty of communicating 
with us, but Darpong undertook the risk, with 
what result we have already seen. Three of the 
Kholel people were given as hostages, to remain 
with us till our return. These men accompanied 
us throughout the Expedition, and did very good 
service on several occasions. One of them named 



154 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Santong, the survivor of tho two sharp-shooting 
brothers, could speak a little Hindustani, and 
he was appointed as guide to the survey party, 
and used to accompany it to point out the various 
hills, &c. ; and this he always did, cheerfully ren- 
dering material assistance to the survey officers. 

The establishment of the posts at Bongkong 
and Koloshib caused these Western Lushais great 
uneasiness, and it appeared that the advance of 
the Munipur contingent was influencing for good 
those to the east. Much anxiety was felt by the 
General, lest this contingent advancing so far 
south should actually come into collision with the 
Eastern tribes, as such an encounter was far from 
desirable, whatever its immediate result might 
be, and messengers were despatched to General 
Nuthall explaining General Bourchier's wishes. 

On the 18th January matters were finally 
settled with the Kholel men, and some commis- 
saries were sent to Khalkom desiring him to join. 

On the 5th, some of Poiboi's men brought in 
a pig and some fowls, &c., as presents, with 
assurances of Poiboi's desire to keep on friendly 
terms with us. They reported that Darpong had 



TIPAf MUKH. 155 

not returned from his journey to General Nuthall, 
but that no fighting had, as yet, taken place 
between their people and the Munipuris, though 
the latter were then close to Chiboo. 

Before continuing the narrative of the advance, 
it will be necessary to return to Tipai Mukh, 
where an event had occurred which had startled 
that little garrison out of the fancied security 
they had been enjoying. The troops at that 
time, at Tipai Mukh, were the Artillery, a wing 
of the 42nd, under Colonel Sheriff, and Colonel 
Hicks' wing of the 44th, the whole being under 
command of the latter officer. 

The days were passed very quietly in erecting 
godowns, improving the defences, and fishing. 
Some very fine mahaseer were caught with spoon- 
bait. Two officers took ninety-one pounds of 
fish between them in one day, and Captain R. 
Cookesley, R.A., the day after caught five fish, 
weighing in all eighty- two pounds, the largest 
turning the scale at twenty-one and a half 
pounds. 

The news from the front used generally to 
come in during the night, and was discussed the 



156 TUE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

following morning, during the usual early tea 
and biscuit over the big camp fire. 

Sometimes the Commissariat had a baking day, 
and a loaf was served out to each officer. On 
such occasions long bamboo toasting-forks were 
cut, and the pleasure of making one's own toast 
was much appreciated. 

On Christmas Day some beeves arrived from 
Mynadhur, after a most adventurous journey, the 
rafts in which they were having been twice upset 
in the rapids, and they had to swim for their 
lives. They were slightly lean, but after tinned 
mutton were most welcome; and some of the 
freshly caught mahaseer, this beef, and a whole 
bottle of beer to each man, formed, as times 
then were with us, a very fine Christmas dinner, 
after which we tried to emulate the usual 
festivities of the season with a brew of hot grog 
and a few old songs. 

The Artillery and Commissariat elephants were 
usually sent a little way up the Tipai to graze, 
but on the morning of the 27th, the mahouts 
had incautiously taken thirty-six elephants 
further than they ought ; and about 10 o'clock 



ATTACKED BY LUSHATS. 157 

one of them ran into camp, apparently greatly 
terrified, shouting out that the elephants had 
been attacked by Lushais, their attendants killed, 
and the animals driven away up stream. 

The alarm was at once given, and the troops 
fell in, though, from the mahout's incoherent 
manner and confused statements, his tale did not 
meet, at first, with full credence ; but an elephant, 
with blood running from seven bullet wounds, 
appeared almost immediately to prove his 
story, which further information confirmed, with 
the addition that the Lushais, numbering about 
two hundred, were on their way to attack the 
camp. 

The guns were at once placed in position at 
the east corner of the camp, commanding the 
Tuivai, and the picquets re-inforced. 

These arrangements had just been carried out, 
when a few shots from the jungle on the opposite 
bank informed us of the vicinity of the enemy. 
Immediately after wards, a volley was fired from 
the picquet on the top of the hill at some figures, 
seen for a second, passing through the jungle 
below. 



158 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Some officers passing up the left bank to re- 
connoitre, were fired at, a bullet nearly finding 
its billet in one of them. To all the shots fired 
by the invisible enemy, the troops responded by 
volleys, with what effect of course could not be 
known. At length a single shot from our side, 
fired at a puff of smoke from the enemy's, was 
followed by groans and cries in Hindustani, 
upon which the firing ceased. 

A party of the 42nd, under Captain Harrison, 
accompanied by Captain Blackwood, having 
crossed the Tuivai in boats, proceeded up the 
river in search of the elephants, and were fol- 
lowed by a party of gunners in boats. The 
former had gone about half a mile, when a 
mahout crawled out of the jungle, with two gun- 
shot wounds and a spear cut in his left leg and 
foot. He said that while the mahouts and coolies 
were loading the elephants with the grass, &c., 
they were suddenly surprised by about fifty 
Lushais, who, having fired a volley from the 
jungle, suddenly with a loud yell rushed out 
upon them with spears and daos, killing several. 
He himself was sitting on his elephant when he 



NIGHT IN CAMP. 159 

was wounded, and falling off into the long grass 
crept away unperceived, and concealed himself till 
he heard the approach of the Sepoys. He was 
sent at once into camp, and his wounds attended 
to ; one bullet was extracted, a piece of iron beaten 
into a slug of irregular shape. 

Proceeding onwards, the party in search of the 
elephants came upon a few near the scene of the 
attack, and some of the mahouts who had also 
managed to escape the fury of the Lushais, on 
hearing our men, came out and took charge of 
the animals. 

Towards evening the party returned, having 
succeeded in recovering nine. They also brought 
a Lushai gourd, cloth and bag, which they had 
picked up in the jungle whence the enemy had 
been firing in the morning. They, however, 
saw nothing whatever of the Lushais, who had 
disappeared as suddenly as they had come. 

Everyone expected that the camp would be 
fired into during the night, and all lights and 
fires were ordered to be put out at an early hour. 
Several times during the evening, young hands 
heard, as they thought, the sound of gunshots ; 



160 TEJE LUSIIAI EXPEDITION. 

but the more experienced laughed and explained 
that this noise was caused by the popping of 
bamboo in the camp fire. The air between the 
knots expands with the heat, and the bamboo 
bursts with a bang, exactly resembling the re- 
port of a gun. 

Everything, however, passed off quietly till 
about two o'clock in the morning, when a cry 
was raised of " Lushai," and the whole force 
turned out at once. It was soon, however, dis- 
covered that the alarm was caused by a stampede 
among the elephants, about eighty of which were 
picketed to the north of the camp. One of them, 
with his forelegs hobbled, went galloping through 
the 44th camp, and the mahouts on perceiving 
him raised the alarm. Everyone soon turned in 
again. 

Early next morning detachments of the Artil- 
lery and 42nd, under Captains Cookesley and 
Harrison, proceeded up the river in boats, and 
recovered all but three of the missing elephants. 
The former officer says : 

" The jungle along the banks was one tangled 
mass of coarse rank grass, varied by stretches 



KHALKOM. 161 

of shingly beach, covered here and there with 
a hardy shrub, the roots of which are interlaced 
in a manner to puzzle the best equestrian, but 
through this the elephants were tracked with un- 
erring precision by the sharp little Goorkhas." 

The party also discovered and brought back to 
camp the remains of three of the poor fellows who 
had been killed by the Lushais. They presented 
a ghastly spectacle, their bodies having been 
hacked and mutilated in a most shocking manner ; 
their heads had been cut off, but not carried 
away, only the scalps being taken. One of the 
unfortunates was an old man, and his arms and 
hands had been cut to pieces, apparently in attempt- 
ing to ward off the cruel blows of his murderers. 

While clearing the jungle near the picquet on the 
hill, a spear-head was picked up, cut nearly in two 
by an Enfield bullet ; it must have been knocked 
off the staff while in the hand of its owner, who 
had a narrow escape. 

I do not think it was ever known to which tribe 
the men belonged who committed this attack, 
though an idea gained some credence that Khalkom 
was the leader, and that he was wounded in this 

M 



162 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

affair. Another rumour attributed the attack to 
the party returning from Monierkhal, of whose 
excursion northward notice had been sent from 
No. 6, as before mentioned. 

This was the first and last excitement for those 
at Tipai Mukh, who thenceforth, to the close of 
the Expedition, pursued the even tenor of their 
way uninterruptedly. 

The telegraph was completed as far as Tipai 
Mukh by the 31 st December. The wing of the 
42nd which had been working on the last bit of 
road into camp, which was very difficult and 
rocky, had been withdrawn when the fighting 
commenced in front, and this part was not 
finished for some time the last stage of the 
journey being performed by water. 



CHAPTER XL 



PROGRESS OF THE HEAD-QUARTERS AT WORK ON THE ROAD 
A DESERTED VILLAGE UNCOMFORTABLE NIGHT AN EMIS- 
SARY FROM SUKPILAL THE CAMP AT CHEPUI POIBOIS 
THE SENIVAI GUARD VILLAGES THE KHOLEL RANGE. 



165 



CHAPTER XI. 

TT7E may now accompany the head-quarters on 
the onward march for the rest of the cam- 
paign, as a passing reference to events occurring 
in rear is all that will be necessary. 

All the wounded were sent in to Tipai Mukh 
on the 1st of January, to be attended at the depot 
hospital there. 

Captain Harvey with his Sappers left Tuibum 
on the 4th for Pabarchung ; and encamping near 
its summit, commenced work upon the road. 
Colonel JSTuthall with his Goorkhas went into a 
beautiful little stream called the Tuitu, on the 
other side of the hill, and worked backwards to 
meet the Sappers. 

The General and staff left Tuibum on the 6th, 
and halting at the Sapper camp for the night 



166 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

arrived at Tuitu (No. 8.) early on the morning 
of the 7th. 

The Tuitu runs along a deep and narrow valley, 
separating the Kholel range from Pabarchung. It 
is a clear stream, with firm sandy and stony bed, 
its banks clothed with bamboo, and a tall graceful 
feathering reed. 

On the way over Pabarchung a very good view 
of the Yanbong hills was obtained, and many 
more villages and innumerable jooms became 
visible. These had been concealed from other 
and nearer points of view by the denseness of the 
forest, but now we could see the whole eastern 
face of the hill. The elevation of the camp of 
the Tuibum was seven hundred feet, the height 
of Pabarchung three thousand seven hundred 
feet, and the Tuitu, at the point we crossed it, 
about one thousand five hundred feet. 

On the 8th the Sappers having come up, the 
whole moved on to the site of a deserted village, 
called Daidoo, on the Kholel ridge, and were suc- 
ceeded at No. 8 by the 22nd N. I. 

The path led us through deserted jooms up a 
steep and narrow spur. As we ascended, leaving 



DAIDOO. 167 

the region of bamboo behind, the jungle became 
more open, only grass and a few low shrubs 
growing between the tall trees. Wild helio- 
trope and cocoa-nuts, and other flowering weeds, 
abounded along the path. 

The troops arrived at Daidoo between two and 
three, P.M., and a spot being fixed on for a camp, 
everyone was soon busy some searching for 
water, others building huts. The water was 
found after a great search, but yielded a very in- 
sufficient supply. 

This village had been deserted for some two 
years, and the stream was choked up with 
dead leaves, old bamboo, ashes, mud, &c., and 
though attempts were made to improve it by 
cleaning it and constructing small troughs, yet 
the result was far from satisfactory. 

The sky had become clouded during the march, 
and there was no doubt that we should have rain, 
which came down heavily about six p.m., and 
lasted through the night. 

Time and the friendly bamboo both being 
wanting, the huts were not successfully con- 
structed and the rain came through in every part. 



168 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Very few had been fortunate enough to get mai- 
chaus constructed, and almost everyone passed 
the greater part of the night in a swamp of 
sloppy blankets and grass. 

About seven o'clock next morning the rain and 
mist cleared off, and the sun came out warm 
and bright, accompanied by a keen strong wind, 
blowing right across the ridge on which we were 
encamped ; and availing ourselves of these two 
beneficent agencies, our wet clothes and soaked 
blankets were hung on ropes and stretched from 
tree to tree, and soon dried. 

Two theories were held by rival parties in the 
camp, as to the best way of stretching a waterproof 
sheet, whether outside over the leaf roof or inside 
under it. The theories were put to the proof on 
this occasion, and resulted in the triumph of the 
first named, though some continued, against their 
better judgment, to adhere to their old plan. 

It must be evident, or ought to be, that the 
sheet put outside keeps the water from penetrat- 
ing through the leaves, conducting it off the slop- 
ing roof to the ground outside, while, if stretched 
inside, no matter how tightly the stretching is 



PEOTECTION AGAINST RAIN. 169 

done, the rain, unless the sheet is arranged 
at a very steep slope indeed, soon finds its way- 
through the leaves, and passes and collects grad- 
ually in the sheet, which becomes a reservoir of 
water, liable on the slightest incautious touch to 
discharge its contents in every direction within 
the hut. 

It is not a pleasant thing in a dark night, as 
I found by experience, to have to get up about 
two a.m., and stand under the dripping roof, to 
empty out a gallon of icy-cold and dirty water, 
which has bagged the sheet down to within a 
foot of one's head. One occupant of our hut, 
doing this without proper caution, sent the whole 
of the collected water in a gush on to an unof- 
fending fellow sleeping next to him, who, 
having taken the precaution of putting his sheet 
outside, would have otherwise remained dry 
throughout the night. At the very best, the 
inside arrangement, even if it does not carry all 
the water on to the bed of the sleeper beneath, 
makes the ground within the hut wet. 

The next day, the 9th January, Mr. Edgar's 
scouts informing him that a better supply of 



170 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

water was to be found at Pachui, another de- 
serted village about a mile off on the same range, 
the General and staff with the 44th marched to 
that place, leaving the Sappers at Daidoo to com- 
plete the road between Pachui and the Tuitu. 

After his arrival at Pachui (known officially as 
No. 9), Nura Sinpanu's muntri, and Rution Singh, 
an emissary from Sukpilal, came in. The latter 
is a Hindustani, formerly a coolie in a tea-garden, 
who deserted to the Lushais some years back, 
and has since acquired some influence among 
the Western tribes, which he is supposed to ha\ r e 
frequently exercised to our prejudice. 

They said that Khalkom was ill, and that 
Sukpilal had gone to see him, but that they 
would come in at once if the General would for- 
give the delay. 

They were sent back with the reply that, if 
they wanted to see the General at Pachui, they 
must come in at once, as the march would not be 
delayed on their account. The Khalkom villages 
were said to be three days' journey from No. 9. 

Darpong also arrived with the letter he was to 
have taken to General Nuthall. He said that, in 



CAMP AT PACHUI. 171 

consequence of some ill-treatment Poiboi's mes- 
sengers to General Nuthall had met with at the 
hands of the Munipuris, the Lushais were afraid 
to take this letter. Mr. Edgar considered this 
story to be false, and believed that the real reason 
for their not taking the letter, was the fear that 
it might contain an order for an immediate attack 
on the Lushais. 

The camp at Pachui was admirably situated, as 
it not only commanded the road to the Tuivai, 
and southern portion of the valley and villages of 
New Kholel, but also the country to the west, 
where stood Khalkom's villages. At the same 
time it covered the communications with Tuibum. 

It was therefore determined to halt here, while 
trying to bring the Western tribes to terms, and 
collecting sufficient supplies to march rapidly on 
Poiboi's village, if he should eventually declare 
against us, and oppose our advance against Lal- 
bura. 

The onward road was at first to have been 
made along the Kholel ridge, without going near 
Poiboi ; but we were told that a good route to Lal- 
bura lay through the country of the Poibois, and as 



172 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

there was a scarcity of water along the former, and 
Poiboi's intentions were so exceedingly doubtful, 
the General felt it necessary, in order to secure 
his communications, to pass through that chief's 
territory, and a road was accordingly commenced 
down to the Tuivai. 

Poiboi had, on several occasions, expressed to 
Mr. Edgar his friendly feelings towards us, and 
his displeasure at the conduct of his cousins. 
Still it was not to be forgotten that it was against 
his own relations that the arms of the left column 
were directed ; and as he could at any time him- 
self assemble a large number of fighting men, 
he was informed that he must give a most satis- 
factory guarantee of his perfect neutrality. 

Pachui is, as before mentioned, in the Kholel 
range, and the hill of Chepui just opposite to it. 
A deep valley intervenes, through which flows the 
Tuivai, some two thousand feet below, the eleva- 
tion of Pachui camp being about three thousand 
eight hundred and fifty feet above sea level. 

On the slopes of Chepui were visible the two 
large villages of Chepui and Tingridum, the most 
northerly of Poiboi's villages. 



KHOLEL RANGE. 173 

After Colonel Lister's Expedition in 1869, the 
Lushais withdrew their villages further south, 
leaving a large belt of jungly hills between them- 
selves and our most southern cultivated tracts, 
and established what they called guard- villages, 
commanding the approach from our frontier to 
their chief villages. Daidoo and Pachui were the 
guard- villages to the chief's residence in Old 
Kholel, which will be described further on ; and 
Chepiii and Tingridum were the guard- villages to 
Poiboi's country, and his residence at Chetam ; 
the range on which the latter is built being con- 
cealed from our view at Kholel by the lofty inter- 
vening range of Lengteng. 

The Kholel range consists of a series of lofty 
peaks connected by narrow ridges. The peaks 
increase in height towards the south ; the highest 
we reached, from which we observed angles, &c., 
was five thousand two hundred feet. 

The Tuivai flows on three sides, separating the 
range from Momrang on the south, and Vanbong 
on the west ; nearly opposite No. 9, the Tuivai 
flows out from the eastern hills under Tingridum. 

The climate here was delightful, pleasantly 



174 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

warm during the day, with a refreshing breeze 
blowing over the hills. The only drawback was 
the heavy fog which frequently rose from the 
river during the night, and did not disperse till 
about ten in the morning! It was worse than rain, 
penetrating everywhere ; and condensing on the 
interior of the roof, it kept up a continual dripping 
from every blade of grass or pendent leaf. 

A great protection against this mist were thick 
muslin mosquito curtains, made like a tent from 
the sloping sides of which the water ran off, and 
beneath which was to be found the only dry spot 
in the hut. The evenings were clear, star-lit, and 
cold the average minimum temperature during 
the night being forty-four degrees. 

When the mist did not trouble us in the early 
morning, the scenery was magnificent. On both 
sides the mist lay in the valleys like a sea of the 
softest wool, stretching away for miles, marking 
out each spur and ravine on the mountain sides like 
well defined shores. The peaks of the lower ranges 
stood up like little islands, while currents of 
air below dashed the mist against the steep out- 
running spurs, like mimic breakers against some 



MOUNTAIN SCONEEY. 175 

bold headlands'. The hills extended far away to 
the west, rising range upon range, purple and blue, 
till the sun, appearing above the bluff mass of 
the Surklang, lighted up the mountain sides with 
the most brilliant tints of orange and green, and 
changed the cold blue of the cloudy sea beneath, 
into all the varied and delicate tints of mother 
of pearl, while over all hung the canopy of 
clear lilac and gold of the morning sky. Such a 
scene requires a much more eloquent pen than 
mine to do justice to it, or even to convey any 
idea of its exceeding beauty. 

" I cannot paint 
The cataract, the tall rock, 
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, 
Their colours and their forms." 



CHAPTER XII. 



SITE OP THE VILLAGE OP KHOLEL VOtTPILAL'S TOMB ENGLOOM 
THE HE AD- MAN OP CBEPUI SWEARING ETERNAL FRIEND- 
SHIP ARTISTIC JUDGMENT DISTRIBUTION OP TROOPS 
MIDNIGHT PARLEYS ATTEMPTED DECEPTION LUSHAI WINE 
APPRECIATED VILLAGE LIFE. 



N 



179 



CHAPTER XII. 

A BOUT three miles south of No. 9. is the site 
of the village of Kholel, in which lived 
Voupilal, and where his tomb is still preserved. 
Daidoo, Poiboi, and Kholel all acknowledged his 
sway, and when on his death their inhabitants re- 
moved to Vanbong, they left the villages standing. 
A fortnight before our arrival, however, they set 
fire to them all, probably with a view to prevent 
our finding any shelter in them on the march. 

The path, as is the case along most of the ridges, 
runs through very open jungle, till it reaches the 
site of the village, a large bare gravelly spot, on 
which stood, according to the Lushais, nearly a 
thousand houses, but of which only a few 
blackened uprights remain. 

Old Kholel, most admirably situated beneath 

N 2 



180 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

one of the highest peaks of the range, where the 
narrow ridge, widening as it gradually rises to 
the hill, affords a site of half a mile in length, 
and about three hundred yards in width, com- 
manding a magnificent view of the Munipur, 
Naga, and Jyntea hills on the North, and of the 
Lushai and South Cachar hills on the East and 
West. 

Voupilal's house occupied a space forty yards 
long by almost fifteen broad, as shewn still by a 
few uprights and remnants of foundations, and at 
the south end of its site is the tomb, a curious 
structure consisting of a platform of rough flag- 
stones and wood, about seventeen feet square and 
three feet high. In the centre grows a young 
banian tree, brought from below, which seems to 
be flourishing in its elevated home. The whole 
is surrounded by tall posts or trunks of small 
trees, each crowned with the skulls of some 
animal or animals slain in the chase ; among 
them are elephants, tigers, metuas, wild-boar, 
deer, &c. 

Of the metua, there are some thirty or forty 
heads, round or near the tomb, and we also 



VOUPILAL'S TOMB. 181 

found the head of a Munipuri pony, presented by 
the new rajah of that country to Youpilal a few 
years before. 

There were two other smaller platforms sur- 
rounded with skulls close by, but for what pur- 
pose and with what intention they were erected, 
we were unable to find out. 

On other posts drinking vessels, and 
wooden fetters used for securing captives, were 
hung. All are intended for the use of the 
deceased in the other world, where the animals 
whose heads surrounded his tomb will evermore 
be subject to him. No human skulls were dis- 
covered, although it is known that at least one 
Naga captive was slain at his death. 

Standing about are curiously shaped posts 
branching out at the top, like the letter Y, and 
some ten feet high ; these, we were told, were all 
sacrificial posts, on which metuas and other 
animals are sacrificed at the death of a chief. 
, The tomb is visible for miles around ; a black 
speck, on a long bare yellow-ridge, marking the 
spot where among the ruins of his villages, the 
mountain breezes for ever moaning over the sad 



182 THE LUSHAJ EXPEDITION. 

deserted scene, rest the remains of the once 
powerful Lushai chieftain. 

While at No. 9, we were frequently visited by 
large numbers of Lushais from Chepui and Ting- 
ridnra, bringing in fowls, yams, and eggs for 
barter, the articles most coveted in exchange 
being cloth and salt. 

A coolie, having no use for his money and being 
no doubt utterly tired of his monotonous Com- 
missariat fare, gave one rupee for a fowl, which 
thenceforth was established by the Lushais as 
the standard price, though, of the actual value 
of the rupee they were entirely ignorant, appre- 
ciating more highly a few copper coins. A few 
sepoys who had a supply of the latter, took 
advantage of it to buy back at about a sixth of 
their value the rupees which the Lushais had 
previously received from the officers. 

Out of the eight men who went into Cachar 
with the presents for Poiboi, one, Engloom by 
name, having no relations among the Lushais, 
and wishing ultimately to settle in Cachar, re- 
mained with us throughout the Campaign. This 
was the only maa in our camp who knew any 



THE HEAD-MAN OF CHEPUI. 183 

thing at all of the country to the East, or the 
position of the villages on our intended line of 
march ; and as we should have, from this point, 
to trust a good deal to the information given us 
by Lushais in the villages ahead, it was neces- 
sary, if possible, to avoid a collision with them. 

On the 14th January, the headman of Chepui, 
Tington, came in, in a scarlet cloak, a present 
from the liberal British Government, attended by 
several villagers. As they approached, they saw- 
some officers looking through telescopes at them, 
and imagining these to be some deadly weapons, 
they sat down to see what happened. As nothing 
did happen, they rose and came on. 

Whether from fear, or with the idea of keeping 
up his dignity, the chief squatted with his back 
to the camp at every hundred yards. " Whiles he 
gaed, and whiles he sat," but at last he arrived 
and had an interview with Mr. Edgar. He merely 
said he was afraid of our destroying his village 
and crops, and as usual he was told that, if he and 
his people behaved properly, no injury would be 
done to them. 

Tington belongs to the^Khengti family, which 



184 TEIE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

the Lushai chiefs regard as equal in rank to their 
own. He is said to be a nephew of Vonolel ; but 
he does not possess any power or influence at all 
commensurate with his high birth and pedigree. 

We may dispose of him in this place by saying 
that he maintained friendly relations with us as 
long as our troops occupied the camp (No 10.) 
close to his village. He paid frequent visits to 
the officers in charge, and partook freely of the 
Commissariat rum, on which occasions he was 
often so overcome that he wept, and trying to 
fall on the shoulders of his hospitable enter- 
tainers, would swear eternal friendship in indis- 
tinct Lushai. 

" One touch of nature makes the whole world 
kin," says a man who, even in his philosophy, 
never dreamt of Lushais ; and Tington did but 
comport himself as I have often seen many 
civilised scions of aristocratic families nearer 
home doing on some festive occasion, vowing un- 
dying friendship for the chance companion of the 
hour ; though I will do both the said scions and 
the Commissariat department the justice to add 
that, in the latter instances, that department has 
nothing to answer for. 



DARPONG. 185 

As the roads in our rear were now passable for 
elephants, and as nothing, or next to nothing, 
was known of the route, or the people, or their 
temper, or the state of their defences, it was 
deemed advisable to bring up the artillery. Ac- 
cordingly the two steel guns arrived on the 16th ; 
the mortar it was found necessary to leave behind, 
and as things turned out it was never required. 

In the afternoon of this day I had a visit from 
Santong, who wished to see my sketches. I 
showed him two little ones ofDarpong andRution 
Sing, which he recognised at once. He sat on the 
floor of the hut, looking at them, laughing occasion- 
ally, and gently repeating their names at intervals 
as if he expected to be answered. This he con- 
tinued doing for about half an hour, and when 
asked to give back the sketches and portraits, 
could not be prevailed on to do so till he had 
called in a Sepoy, who was passing, to share his 
satisfaction. 

In connection with this sketch of Darpong, the 
following incident illustrates the folly of jumping 
to conclusions. Several Lushais, having heard 
that I had a coloured sketch of that worthy gentle- 



186 THE LUSHAT EXPEDITION. 

man, visited me, with the request that they might 
be allowed to see rny sketch-book, to which of 
course I assented, and exhibited it to them. It 
contained principally little pencil sketches, but at 
last, on turning a page, a coloured picture appeared 
to their delighted eyes. " Darpong," they all 
cried at once ; unfortunately they made a great 
mistake, for it happened to be a landscape of an 
up-country place of pilgrimage, named Hurdwar. 

The 22nd arrived on the 13th at No. 9, and 
on the 15th, went down and encamped at the 
Tuivai, for the purpose of making the road up to 
Chepui. About the same time, also, Major Moore 
and Captain Heydayat Ali arrived, bringing their 
Goorkha and Bhoolia coolies, the remnant who 
had escaped the ravages of cholera at Chattuck. 

Hitherto, the General had been deprived of 
their services, and the Commissariat had often 
been hard pushed to keep the supplies up to the 
front; for while the Kholel sharp-shooters were 
about, it was impossible to employ the elephants, 
whose unwieldiness and unmanageableness, when 
frightened, rendered them useless; but, on the 
conclusion of the armistice, they were never idle. 



A FINE STREAM. 187 

With the exception of a strong guard at Mynad- 
hur, the whole of the troops comprising the left 
column, were at this time distributed at various 
posts between No. 9 and Tipai Mukh. 

On the 17tb, leaving behind a guard of fifty 
men of the 22nd under Lieutenant Gordon, the 
General and staff, withMr. Edgar and Col. JSTuthalPs 
wing of the 44th, marched from Pachui, and de- 
scended to the Tuivai, here still a fine stream 
clear and cold, flowing between huge boulders, 
past shingly reaches, and bubbling over pebbly 
shallows, ever and anon widening out into still 
pools, in the clear depths of which were reflected 
the varied hues of the wooded hill-sides. A small 
bamboo bridge had been thrown across at a spot 
where a large stretch of shingle on the left bank 
narrowed the stream considerably. 

On the way down, a great many Lushais had 
been observed collected in a joom opposite. A 
few of them went down to the river, and the 
General drew up his force on the shingle. 

Darpong here arrived on the scene, and en- 
deavoured to persuade the General to halt there 
for the night, sayiug that Poiboi would parley in 



188 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

the darkness. These midnight parleys seem to 
be the usual custom among the Lushais, but it 
was one to which the General did not feel bound 
to conform, and the ascent was commenced up 
the Lushai track. 

After a quarter of an hour's climb the joom 
in which the Lushais had been seen was reached. 
About two hundred armed with muskets were 
grouped in the centre, but immediately extended 
in fighting order. They were all clad alike in 
the usual grey sheet, with a small grey fillet 
bound round the head, and a haversack across the 
left shoulder. 

The 44th, as they emerged on the joom, also 
extended, forming a line facing the Lushais at 
an interval of about a hundred and fifty yards. 
The General, with his staff and Mr. Edgar, 
occupying a spot half way between, directed 
that Poiboi should come forward. 

At some little distance stood a well-dressed 
young fellow, and after a good deal of hurrying 
about and preliminary consultations among the 
Lushais, he came forward, accompanied by many 
others. Mr. Edgar however, suspected, from 



LUSHAl BRIDGES. 189 

his manner, that he was not a chief, and Engloom, 
being called up, declared that he was not Poiboi, 
but a favourite companion of the latter. 

On this the meeting broke up, it being ex- 
plained to the Lushais that the General would 
have no further dealings either with Poiboi him- 
self, or any other representative, till he had 
arrived at Chepui. 

The Lushais again endeavoured, by threatening 
gestures, to prevent the advance, and it seemed 
as if Kholel was to be repeated here. However, 
the troops continued the ascent without taking 
any notice of the Lushais, and reached the 
village without further opposition. 

After a climb from the Tuivai of two thousand 
two hundred feet up a steep and narrow rocky 
path, we crossed two or three pretty little 
mountain streams running over the moss and 
fern-covered rocks. These were bridged by 
Lushai structures ; a couple of bamboos, or 
slender trees, supported on a few frail-looking 
uprights fixed in the crevices of the rocks 
below, affording a perilous passage to the booted 
invaders. 



190 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

The artillery elephants were got up with much 
difficulty, and with fearful exertions on their 
own part, literally having to climb up some 
places. One practice they had, during any ex- 
ertion, was peculiarly objectionable in the steep 
narrow track, I mean the habit of constantly 
dashing water on their bodies, wetting every 
one below with a muddy shower. 

The column was halted near the village, where 
a few unfinished houses, intended to form a 
suburb of Chepui, were hired from the owners, 
and all the collected firewood purchased. The 
water supply was also very good, so on the 
whole we were more comfortable than we had 
been since the commencement of the campaign. 
The houses, being new, were free from the rats 
and fleas which disturbed our rest at the next 
village. The walls were made of bamboos, split 
and pressed out flat. The strips, thus obtained, 
having an average width of six inches, are inter- 
woven horizontally and vertically, giving a 
chequered pattern to the walls, exceedingly pretty 
when new. 

Engloom occupied a little hut in the centre, 



COOKING OPERATIONS. 191 

and had managed to secure a large jar of the 
Lusbai wine, which he was imbibing through reeds 
with several friendly Lushais. Some of the 
officers also tried it, and testified their approval 
by such frequent applications to the jar that 
Engloom took the opportunity of their superin- 
tending their camping arrangements to remove 
it to some place of concealment, and we saw it 
no more. 

We had an opportunity of seeing a Lushai cook- 
ing operation performed on a fowl by Engloom. 
Squatting before a huge wood fire, he killed the 
bird by cutting its head off; and giving a few 
hurried plucks to some of the largest feathers, 
he flung the body into the midst of the flames. 
Snatching it out a second or two after, a few 
more feathers were plucked, and again it was 
thrown into the flames. These alternate burn- 
ing and plucking operations were continued for 
about six or seven minutes, when the singed and 
blackened little mass was carried off to be de- 
voured. 

Not far off, another fowl was being roasted 
for the head-quarters' mess, but the modus 



192 THE LUSHA1 EXPEDITION. 

operandi differed slightly from that of the Lu- 
shais. A long piece of wood, passed through the 
carefully plucked bird, was supported at each end 
by a small forked stick in front of the bright fire. 
A kitmutgar, sitting near, turned the piece of 
wood slowly round and round till the fowl was 
cooked. 

In this camp we were protected from the cold 
winds and fog during the night and early morn- 
ing, on one side by the high peak of Chepui, which 
rose one thousand two hundred feet above us, 
and on the other side by several wooded knolls, 
so that, though four hundred feet higher than at 
Pachui, the minimum temperature during the 
night was never below 50. 

The troops remained here till the 22nd January ; 
this delay being caused by the unwillingness of 
the villagers to point out any route except a very 
roundabout one by Tingridum ; and some of the 
troops actually commenced work upon it. 

Colonel Roberts, feeling convinced that there 
must be a more direct road, was untiring in 
his endeavours to discover it, and at last success 
rewarded his efforts. 



VISITORS TO THE CAMP. 193 

Previous to our arrival, all the women and 
children had been removed, and were concealed 
in some joom-houses on the hill sides, but before 
we left they were gradually returning and re- 
suming their usual occupations. No efforts had 
been spared to inspire them with confidence, 
as it was very important to keep on good terms 
with the villages iu the rear. Their sick were 
treated by our meclieal officers, and we heard 
that some of the wounded from Kholel were there. 
The villagers visited the camp daily, selling 
fowls and eggs. The latter were generally found 
to have been hard boiled. 

Paper possessed great charms for them, and 
they would take newspapers up and walk quietly 
off with them, not being at all abashed if stopped 
and made to restore them ; but when a paper was 
given them, they went proudly away with it 
sticking up from the back of their turbans (such 
as wore them) in the shape of a large fan or 
hood. Green and gold labels off pickle bottles, 
and brass labels off sardine boxes, found great 
favour as decorations for their hair knots. 

In the meantime the survey party had visited 

o 



194 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

the highest peak of the Chepui hill, and clearing 
it had erected a tall bamboo survey " mark." It 
was about thirty feet high, and consisted of three 
long poles planted in the ground and tied together 
at the top in the form of a tripod. The top part 
was closed in with bamboo matting, and a bamboo 
basket surmounted the whole. These glittering 
white marks can be seen when the sun is shining on 
them for very long distances, and it is said were 
supposed by the Lushais to be effigies of Her Most 
Gracious Majesty, placed on their hill tops as 
evidences of her greatness and the power of her 
army to penetrate where it would. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



MORE SYMBOLIC WARNINGS DESIGNS OF THE LUSHAI CHIEFS 
RECONNOITERING DARPONG ORDER OF MARCH FIGHT WITH 
THE LUSHAIS SMALL BUT FORMIDABLE STOCKADE THE 
LUSHAIS TAKEN IN FLANK CASUALTIES NARROW ESCAPE 
OF THE GENERAL. 



197 



CHAPTER XIII. 

ITVHE Western chiefs, Sukpilal and Khalkom, 
had not yet made their appearance, and 
Colonel Rattray, who was then commanding at 
Pachui, received orders to explore the roads in 
their direction, in order, if possible, to put press- 
ure upon them. 

According to the Lushais, Khalkom was ill and 
could not move. His illness, however, was never 
satisfactorily explained, and it was generally be- 
lieved that he was wounded either at Kholel or 
Tipai Mukh. 

As the time necessary for making roads could 
not be spared, the General determined to trust to 
the country paths from this point, taking on only 
the Artillery elephants. Those belonging to the 
Commissariat thenceforth worked only, between 



198 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Tipai Mukh and Chepui ; the supplies being taken 
on from the latter place by coolies. 

On the 22nd January, the advance was con- 
tinued along a very rocky path, the head-man, 
and two others from Tingridum, and three men 
from Chepui, accompanied it. The troops, who 
camped about three miles and a half from Chepui, 
on the banks of a little stream called Sairumlui, 
the next day climbed up to station No. 11, on the 
Gnaupa ridge, near the site of an old village 
called Bohmong. 

Colonel Roberts, taking Engloom with him, 
went to explore the road ahead. The path 
divided into two shortly after leaving camp, one 
running along the ridge, the other along the 
east face of the hill towards Surklang. The 
latter was the route intended to be taken by the 
troops, and this was found blocked by a rude 
representation of men hanging on gallows ; and a 
small red gourd, fixed in a tuft of grass, symbolised 
scalped heads for those who should go that 
way. 

The path descended to a pretty little fordable 
stream called the Tuila, and crossed a steep spur 



THE EOUTE. 199 

of the Surklang to another stream, near which 
good camping ground was found. 

On the return of the reconnoiterers, Mr. Edgar 
informed the Lushais with us that the Tuila route 
would be the one followed, and the head-man of 
Tingridum and Darpong were directed to go on 
and inform Poiboi that we should pass by his 
villages, but that, unless we were opposed, no harm 
would be done to them, and also that he must 
give up certain captives. 

The Lushais earnestly begged that the General 
would reconsider his decision about the route, and 
take the Gnaupa one instead. This, they were 
told, was impossible, and they then asked that 
two young men of their number should be allowed 
to go on to the villages ahead. 

The Lushais had expected us to cross the 
Lengteng by Gnaupa, and had fortified several 
strong points on it ; and here they determined to 
make a great stand. The chiefs had declared 
their intention, if they succeeded in turning us 
back there, of harassing our retreat in every 
possible way, and not leaving off the pursuit till 
the troops reached the cultivated portion of 



200 THE LUSH A 1 EXPEDITION. 

Cachar ; while on the other hand, if we overcame 
all their opposition and crossed the Lengteng in 
of it, it was understood that our further ad- 
vance ori'Chumfai would be unopposed. 

In avoiding the steep and rocky passage of the 
Lengteng by that route, and choosing the easier 
one by Surklang and Muthilen, it was not the 
General's intention to avoid a collision with the 
Lushais ; indeed it was desirable that a real trial 
of strength should take place between us and the 
whole force of the South-eastern tribes. Conse- 
quently when Darpong intimated that the real 
object of the two lads in wishing to leave us, was to 
recall the men stationed on Lengteng, they were 
allowed to go. 

The interview between Mr. Edgar and the 
Lushais was carried on over our camp-fire after 
dinner, and loud and earnest were the sounds of 
the discussion which from time to time reached 
the ears of officers already retired to rest, one of 
whom, " little recking, if they would let him sleep 
on," of the great issue involved, and thinking 
they were some gossiping servants, requested 
them, in language more forcible than polite, to 



NARROW RAVINE. 201 

cease chattering. No attention, however, was paid 
to his modest request, and it was far into the night 
when the Lushais at last left the camp. Shortly 
afterwards two shots were heard by the advanced 
picquet in the direction taken by the lads, but 
nothing else occurred during the night. 

In the morning, Darpong and the Tingridum 
man also departed, and at eight o'clock the force 
marched for the next camp ; halting for a couple 
of hours at the Tuila to allow the coolies to cook 
and eat. As the supply of water at No. 11 had 
been very limited, the General, Colonel Roberts, 
and other officers, went on ahead to reconnoitre 
the road in the afternoon. The path followed the 
course of the ravine along its left bank. The ravine 
was very narrow here, with densely wooded sides, 
and the path, running over rocks and roots of 
trees, in some places barely afforded a foothold, 
while on the right below it was the rocky bed of a 
mountain stream. 

About a mile from camp the path again divided, 
leading in one direction to the south over Muthilen 
to the village of Kungnung, and in the other to 
the east, up Surklang. The latter was the road 



202 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

reconnoitred. After climbing through some very 
steep jooms, it ran along the south side of the 
hill. It was a tolerable road here, some three or 
four feet wide, and evidently made in some parts 
in others cut with daos out of the hillside, the 
best Lushai path we had yet met with. 

After pursuing it for some time, and just as it 
was so late as to necessitate a speedy return, 
several large granaries were discovered in a joorn, 
and while these were being inspected, Darpong 
and his companion appeared upon the scene. On 
questioning him as to his presence there, when 
he was expected to have gone towards Poiboi's 
village, which was in quite the opposite direction, 
he said that the two shots we heard the night 
before had been fired at the Lushais who left our 
camp by people from Taikum, a large village a 
mile or so further on the road, and that he had 
been to inquire into the matter. He also pointed 
out to us Kungnung near the summit of Muthilen, 
and said that both the villages were full of armed 
men. He then departed, promising to be in 
camp next morning, 

From the point where we met Darpong it was 



ORDER OF MARCH. 203 

easily seen that the onward route must be by 
Kungnung, as Cbelam, Poiboi's village, was not 
visible over the high intervening bill. This being 
determined on, the reconnoitring party returned 
to their camp. 

The night passed off quietly, and the troops 
inarched again shortly after eight a.m. on the 
25th. Darpong had come in and given the 
General to understand that an attack would be 
made on us in the ravine. Fifty men of the 44th 
went in advance, then the General and staff, and 
the wing of the 44th ; sixty men of the 22nd 
being left as a guard for the Artillery and coolies, 
for whose safety all felt very anxious. 

Such was the order of march for the small 
force with him, and considering the precipitous 
nature of the hill-sides, which completely com- 
manded the narrow rocky stream, the General 
felt that he could not search the banks as he 
went along. 

About half a mile from camp, however, as the 
advanced guard were climbing over a steep rocky 
part of the path, the first shots were exchanged, 
and as if by magic along the whole line and in 



204 TOE LUSHAJ EXPEDITION. 

front, the gloom of the forest was lighted up by a 
myriad of flashes, and bullets and slugs fell 
around us, 

" As on a July day, 
The thunder shower falls pattering on the way." 

At the first discharge the General's orderly- 
was shot dead from the the right bank, and almost 
immediately the General himself was wounded in 
the left arm and hand by a Lushai on the left 
bank, not eight yards off. 

The Sepoys replied well, and Captain Robert- 
son's advanced guard extended as they reached 
the rocky ground on the left flank, while the rest 
of the 44th, under Colonel Nuthall and Captain 
Lightfoot, flinging down their packs and great- 
coats, dived into the rocky stream, and meeting 
the enemy in their own jungle, almost hand to 
hand, drove them up the hill before them, scatter- 
ing them most effectually. Thirteen Lushais 
fell almost in one spot in the stream, those who 
were not dead being despatched without mercy. 

One man was trying to escape up the face of 
a piece of rock over whieh some water trickled 
into a pool below. The slippery rock hindered 



FIGHT WITH THE LUSHATS. 205 

him, and ere he could mount it a Goorkha had 
overtaken him and cut him down with his 
kookrie. He fell on his face in the pool, looking 
painfully like a woman, as he lay there with 
his smooth cheek and neatly braided hair and 
knot. 

The General's wounds having been speedily 
bound up, he was enabled shortly to overtake 
the troops again. 

At the very commencement of the firing, a 
note was sent by Mr. Edgar from the camp, 
telling the General that he had forced Darpong 
to state what he knew about the intended attack. 
His statement was, that the Lushais meant to 
avoid the troops, but to attack the coolies and 
artillery elephants. Two of Mr. Edgar's Cachari 
coolies were wounded at the outset, and this 
dispiriting the others, that gentleman determined 
to remain with them. Captain Thompson also 
remained behind. 

Some of the Lushais managed to slip past the 
column, and attacked the rear, and as we 
climbed the hill in pursuit of the Lushais, we 
could hear the firing below. 



206 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

On collecting the scattered columns, the ad- 
vance followed the Kungnung path through some 
open jooms, from which we could see the Lushais 
running wildly about on the spurs and ridges 
above, apparently endeavouring to collect for a 
stand at the village. 

At length the path ran along the face of a 
huge precipice, and was commanded for a long 
distance by a small stockade, constructed at the 
most difficult part of the road, where a few resolute 
men might have stopped the advance of an 
army, while a few rocks detached from above 
would have inflicted heavy loss on the troops 
passing beneath, as escape would have been 
impossible. At this very point, a fortnight 
later, a small hill pony, belonging to an officer, 
slipped and went over the path, and falling 
three hundeed feet, was killed at once. 

The rapidity with which the advance had been 
conducted, had left the Lushais no time to 
defend this stockade ; but passing onwards, the 
path suddenly emerged on a joom, above which, 
and on the high crest of another precipitous ridge, 
was another long stockade. The foremost Sepoy, 



SUCCESSFUL MANOEUVRE. 207 

on showing himself at the edge of the joom, was at 
once saluted with a shot, which fortunately missed 
him. It was found useless to take this stockade 
with a rush, owing to the nature of the ground, 
and so two parties of the 44th, under Capts. 
Robertson and Lightfoot, skirmished round to 
their right, taking advantage of some long grass 
jungle which concealed them from the defenders 
of the stockade, who kept up a steady fire on 
the road, expecting to see the troops appear 
every moment. 

The rest of the force had been halted under 
shelter of the bank, till the result of the flank 
movement should be apparent. This manoeuvre 
was most successfully executed, and great must 
have been the surprise of the Lushais, while 
keeping their attention and fire directed on the 
patli in front, to find themselves suddenly taken 
in flank. They fled, scarcely exchanging a shot 
with their unexpected assailants ; and, when the 
troops advanced through the stockade to the vil- 
lage, a couple of hundred yards beyond, not a 
Lushai was visible, all having vanished in the 
forest and down the hill-side. 



208 THE LUSH AT EXPEDITION. 

The troops at once occupied the village. The 
fires were found burning in the houses, domestic 
articles were lying about as if abandoned in Kaste ; 
and a few dogs, cowering in corners, testified to 
the unpreparedness of the Lushais for this result 
of their attack. In some houses were picked up 
white skirts, which had been distributed to some 
of the people who had visited us at Chepui. 

The artillery elephants could not be got up to 
the village that evening, being unable to climb 
the latter part of the track, and so encamped 
below the stockade. The coolies, with the whole 
of the baggage, arrived in camp by seven P.M. 

Owing to the excellent arrangements made for 
the protection of the elephants and coolies by 
Major Moore, in charge of the Coolie Corps, Cap- 
tain Udwy, 44th, commanding the rear-guard, and 
Lieutenant Hall, 22nd, commanding the supports, 
the casualties were less than might have been ex- 
pected, only one coolie being killed, while two 
were wounded severely, and one slightly. The 
other casualties for the day were as follows : 
killed two non-commissioned officers and one 



NARROW ESCAPE OF THE GENERAL. 209 

man of the 44th; wounded Artillery, two severely; 
44th, one severely; Police, one severely. 

General Bourchier's wounds were re-examined 
as soon as the medical officers arrived at Kung- 
nung. He had a very narrow escape. He him- 
self at first thought that he was wounded in the 
left hand only, and it was not till he took off his 
coat that a hole was discovered under and behind 
his left elbow ; and a wound which was found in 
his fore-arm at once accounted for the pain he 
felt there. Fortunately for the Left Column, the 
General's wounds, though painful, did not dis- 
able him, excepting so far as they neccessitated 
a sling for a short time. 






CHAPTER XIV. 



COUNCIL OP THE CHIEFS OUR WEAK POINT KUNGNUNG THE 
LENGTENG RANGE ADVANCE OF THE TROOPS A STRONG 
STOCKADE A DETOUR ARTILLERY PRACTICE EFFECT OF 
SHELLS STRIKING SCENE A CURIOUS GRAVE. 



213 



CHAPTER XIV. 

rPHERE must have been some great defect in 
the tactics of the Lushais to account for 
their signal defeat. It appears that the very night 
before, a great council of all the chiefs of the 
families of Vonolel and Lalpoong had been held 
in the village of Kungnung ; and then Poiboi had 
been induced to throw in his lot finally against us. 

At this meeting, the course of action to be pur- 
sued against us on the following day was decided 
on. One party was to divert the attention of the 
main force, while the other, stealing down the 
ravine, would, when the troops were considered 
far enough advanced, attack the coolies, who, 
they imagined, would be unprotected. They thus 
hoped, by killing a number of the coolies, so to 
demoralise the rest that, being deprived of our 



214 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

means of transport, we should be compelled to 
retire; this idea, as we have seen, was better 
conceived than carried out. 

Mr. Edgar imagine^ that this scheme originated 
with the head man of Tingridum, who had stated 
truly that our weak point was the long line of 
coolies following the main body. Darpong ad- 
vised Mr. Edgar of this plan of operations of the 
Lushais before the firing commenced, probably 
out of spite for him of Tingridum, with whom he 
had a quarrel, carefully fostered by the authorities. 

The principal causes of the utter failure on the 
part of the Lushais, I believe to be these. In the 
first place they were not sure which of the two 
routes we would take, though they probably in- 
clined to the one reconnoitred the day before, and 
consequently were afraid to concentrate their forces 
on either. Secondly, the hour fixed for marching 
was earlier than usual, and it is probable that 
the party the advanced guard fell in with was the 
one intended to watch the coolies. They had not 
had time to finish their ambuscading arrangements 
before we met, and scattered them so completely 
that only a few were able to carry out their in- 



DISCOMFITURE OP THE LUSHAIS. 215 

structions, while the advance on Kungnung was 
so rapid that the enemy were unable to collect in 
sufficient force to make an effectual resistance at 
the stockades. 

From accounts afterwards received by Mr. Edgar, 
it seems probable that the Lushai loss in killed 
and wounded was over sixty. 

The utter discomfiture of the Lushais was 
evident from the fact of their leaving so many of 
their dead in the ravine, having only time to cut 
off and carry away the heads of two of these; 
and even when next day a party was sent down 
to burn the dead bodies, and to recover some 
great-coats, &c., which had been overlooked, the 
former were found lying as they had been left, no 
attempt apparently having been made by their 
friends to remove them. 

Among the slain were two head men, one of 
whom was Poiboi's chief adviser. We got seven 
muskets, and in one of their havresacks was found 
some of our own smooth-bore ammunition, ap- 
parently identifying the owner with one of the 
raiders of 1871, at Monirkhal or Nudigram. 

Kungnung contained twenty-two houses situ- 



216 THE LUSH AT EXPEDITION. 

ated on the slope of a peak five thousand feet in 
height, just south of which Muthilen rises to a 
height of nearly six thousand feet. The approach 
on all sides is very difficult, the slopes of the 
hill being exceedingly precipitous and broken by 
huge masses of rock. 

The hills south and east of this range assume 
quite a different character from those to the north- 
west and west, being much more rocky, and conse- 
quently less jungly ; long grass and bracken taking 
the place of the irritating undergrowth of thorny 
jungle previously met with. 

Surklang is an immense mass of peaks tossed 
about in wild confusion, the rocks dropping out 
in irregular strata, now horizontal, now following 
the general inclination of the spurs ; and further 
to the east the Lengteng range presents the 
appearance of a large buttressed wall, its top 
being square and level for the greater part of its 
length, and the west face precipitous a few 
narrow spurs giving the idea of buttresses, and 
the almost perfectly horizontal rocky strata the 
idea of courses of masonry ; a few trees appear 
near the summit. 



EECONNAISSANCE. 217 

From Kungnung we could see nearly every 
station in our rear as far as No. 6 ; and as the 
mantle of night descended on the hills, the gleam- 
ing fires appearing one by one on the successive 
ridges marked the position of each camp. 

In order to follow up the successes of the 25th, 
the General issued instructions to Colonel Roberts 
to take a force, consisting of two steel guns of 
the Mountain Battery, and a hundred men from 
the 22nd and 45th regiments, and burn the village 
of Taikum on the 26th. 

As already stated, the Artillery could not get 
into camp on the 25th, so the force for the 
Taikum Expedition was delayed in starting till 
twelve noon. The path to Taikum lay due east, 
descending for about a mile and a half till it 
reached the head of the stream just below the 
saddle connecting Surklang and Muthilen, whence 
ascending again it joined the path reconnoitred 
on the 24th. 

From this reconnaissance it was evident that 
the guns would never reach Taikum that day, if 
carried on elephants ; consequently, the General 
decided that they should be carried by coolies. 



218 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Sixteen men were told off for each gun, viz., six 
for the gun itself, which weighed a hundred and 
fifty pounds, six for the carriage, and two for 
each wheel, besides four for the ammunition 
boxes, each box containing nine rounds. 

On arriving at the joom in which we had before 
discovered the granaries, we found all but two 
had been burnt. These two had been pulled 
down, but the grain had not been removed. 

Proceeding onwards some little distance, the 
road suddenly turned and ran round the re- 
entering angle between two large spurs. Across 
this valley, about a mile off, we perceived a 
strong stockade, built across the road, command- 
ing it thoroughly. A steep rocky ravine ran up 
on its right flank, and a large number of 
the enemy were collected at that point. 

If the troops could have been got nearer, 
Colonel Roberts would have advanced the infantry 
under cover of the artillery. The nature of the 
ground did not allow of this, except at the risk 
of heavy loss. So a detour was made, entailing 
a long and weary drag up and down steep spurs, 
at one time attaining the height of six thousand 



DISAPPEAKANCE OF THE HEAD-MAN. 219 

feet, till at last we struck the road again about a 
mile beyond the stockade. 

The Lushais had been watching our movements 
from various points, and finding their stockade 
turned, they retired at once to their village. 
Soon after we started from the camp Mr. Edgar 
discovered that the head-man of Tingridum had 
disappeared, and it^was supposed had gone in the 
direction of Taikum. 

Notice of this was sent to Colonel Roberts. We 
soon, however, met the supposed fugitive near the 
stockade, accompanied by three of the villagers, 
waving their hands about to show they were un- 
armed. The head-man said he had gone so far to 
get rice for Darpong, and showed us a little in his 
hand as proof ; but as there was plenty at Kung- 
nung, and the amount he had with him was 
scarcely sufficient for one meal, this was an 
evident falsehood. 

As soon as the villagers discovered that we 
intended to go on to their village, they tried to 
get away. They were stopped, however, and 
made to accompany the force. 

In consequence of the detour and the frequent 



220 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

delays to enable the guns to keep up with the 
troops, it was five o'clock when, on turning a 
corner, we came in sight of Taikum. This village 
is situated on the summit of a small hill, contains 
about two hundred houses, and is surrounded by 
a strong palisado. It was full of men. 

We were then distant twelve hundred yards 
from it, and commanded the village thoroughly, 
a small level piece of ground on the right of the 
road affording ample space for bringing the guns 
into action, which was accordingly done. The 
Lushais had evidently become aware of our ap- 
proach, and collected all their force in a large 
open space at the top of the village to watch our 
movement. 

The three villagers squatted near the guns to 
see what would happen to their friends and 
houses. The practice was excellent. At the first 
there was a movement among the enemy, as if 
they were going to run away, but nothing im- 
mediately following they stood firm. The Sepoys 
also, not knowing the time necessary for the 
flight of the projectiles, gave vent to a few mur- 
murs of disappointment, which were speedily 



SHELL-PRACTICE. 221 

changed to cries of delight, as the puff of smoke 
just over the village, followed by the report, an- 
nounced the bursting of the shell. 

The fuze having been set for a longer range, 
the villagers could not have seen it burst, as they 
still remained where they were. To the Lushais 
with us, it appeared as if it had gone on to the 
hill across the valley, " a day's journey off," as 
they wonderingly said to each other. 

The second gun was beautifully laid, and the 
shell burst in the very centre of the group of men, 
who seemed completely paralyzed at first, but 
soon commenced to run down the narrow streets. 
A few appeared to be incapable of motion, but 
others returned to carry them off. 

In the meantime Colonel Roberts, directing 
Captain Blackwood to fire two more rounds at 
the retreating foe, advanced rapidly with the in- 
fantry, and as the latter entered the village from 
one side, the former evacuated it on the other, 
firing only two shots, without effect, as they dis- 
appeared down the hill sides. It was nearly six 
o'clock then, and it was useless to pursue them ; 
so the village was set fire to at once. 



222 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

A few of the Goorkas had secured some pigs, 
which, being too big to be carried whole, were 
killed with a knock on the head, and the shoulders 
and the hind-quarters were sliced off with two or 
three strokes of their handy kookries. Then all 
the troops having fallen in again, the return 
march commenced. 

As we gained the knoll from which the guns 
had been fired, and looked back, the scene was 
very striking. Behind a huge misty mountain 
the calm moon rose bright and clear in the pale 
green sky, illumining the far off ranges, while 
nearer, the red flames and smoke, and sparks, 
Swept away to the left by the evening breeze, 
lighted up the foreground with a ruddy glow, 
to which intensity was added by the deep black 
mass of huge forest which partially hid Taikum 
from our gaze ; while, below in the wide slip be- 
tween us and the village, a small stream flowed, 
reflecting on its surface the red glare of the 
flames. 

Fortunate was it that we had the moon to 
guide our returning steps over the weary five 
miles that lay before us, as even with its assistance 



POIBOI FINED. 223 

it was nearly eleven P.M., before we readied the 
camp, after a rather hard day's work. 

Beacon signals had informed the neighbouring 
villages of the intended attack on us on the 25th, 
and the inhabitants of Chepui and Tingridum 
and Kholel had again fled into the jungles ; but 
the judicious measures taken by the officers com- 
manding at Chepui and Tuibum, succeeded in 
restoring confidence and they soon returned. 

In consequence of the Tingridum head-man 
having left the camp without leave on the 2nd, 
he was fined one hundred and thirty baskets of 
rice, a pig, and a goat. A man was sent on the 
27th to Tingridurn, to tell the villagers to deliver 
these articles to the officers at Chepui, and this 
was done at once. 

Darpong was also sent on to Poiboi, to tell 
him that, as he had attacked us on the 25th, the 
General had altered the terms on which he would 
consent to receive him, and that, in addition to 
giving up his captives, he must pay a fine of rice, 
metuas, pigs, goats, and fowls. 

On the 27th a party escorted a large body of 
coolies to the jooms near Taikum, and brought 



224 THE LUSHA1 EXPEDITION. 

in all the grain we had seen in the two store- 
houses there. A large quantity of rice, beans, 
yams, &c., in big baskets was also discovered in 
a cave near Kungmmg ; and the supply thus 
obtained assisted the 'Commissariat considerably, 
and for a couple of days many of the coolies were 
employed in husking the rice in the village. 

The troops had been distributed in the various 
houses, a large house at the bottom of the village 
being used as the quarter-guard. This had been 
the head-man's house, apparently, and when 
we first arrived there we saw a curious grave 
outside. 

This grave consisted of a tall post set up over 
a mound, enclosed with rough stones, and covered 
with a metua's head, through which a small stick 
was passed, carrying a goat's head, and a large 
coronet of cane-work, in which countless feathers 
of all sorts and colours were fixed. Below the 
metua's head was a similar coronet, but smaller, 
from which strings of smaller skulls, dogs', 
monkeys', &c., were suspended round the post ; 
while outside the stones towered two tall bam- 
boos, having at their ends, small cane circles, 



INTOLERABLE NUISANCE. 225 

bearing little bamboo strips, which swinging about 
in the wind make a doleful rattling sound. 

The General had a hut constructed for himself 
and Staff above the village. The houses would 
not have been uncomfortable dwellings, but for 
the rats which swarmed at nights, scampering 
over our faces or falling from the roof. The only 
way to ensure ourselves against these little an- 
noyances was to put up musquito curtains, fasten- 
ing them down securely at the sides and ends. 



Q 



CHAPTER XV. 



TELEGRAM FROM CACHAR RESCUE OF MARY WINCHESTER- 
FIGHT OF LTJSHAIS AND CLASSIS ESCAPE OF A LUSHAI 
PRISONER A DISTURBER OF THE CAMP TOUCHING SCENE 

THE SAIVAR POIBOl'S STRONGHOLD A CURIOUS HUNT 

v. 

ALARM OF FIRE A THOUGHTFUL BOY. 



229 



CHAPTER XV. 

f\N the 28th a telegram was received from 
Cachar, stating that Sukpilal's muntri Rowa, 
had arrived at Jhalnachara, with the Khansaman's 
wife and a Cachari, who had been taken prisoners 
at Alexandrapur. 

The officiating Deputy Commissioner, Mr. 
McWilliam, also telegraphed that Sukpilal had 
Mary Winchester, and said, as soon as he got 
a boat, he would send her into Cachar. This 
intelligence put everybody in a great state of 
excitement; the child was rescued and would 
be restored to her friends, through the officer 
commanding the left column. 

A little consideration, however, showed that 
it was highly probable that this information was 
not to be relied on. The Syloos, it was known; 



230 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

had the child, and as the other column was 
operating against them, it was hardly likely they 
would throw away their best card, when by 
keeping it they might hope to secure favour- 
able terms for themselves when the proper time 
for playing it arrived. 

And so it proved. Mary Winchester was given 
up to the other column. This news was tele- 
graphed by General Brownlow, and was received 
on the 29th at Kungnung. 

During the next two days, the Lushais came in, 
bringing in metuas, &c., in payment of the in- 
demnity inflicted on Poiboi for his share in the 
attack on the 25th. 

On the 33st, Dambhung, head-man of Taikum, 
and the Chief of Poiboi' s ministers, arrived in 
camp, bringing letters from General Nuthall, in 
which he stated that there was much sickness 
among the Munipur contingent, and they had 
moreover a defective Commissariat. 

Dambhung said that he was at Chibu during 
the fighting on the 25th and 26th, and was much 
surprised on his return to find that his village had 
been destroyed from off the face of the earth. 



LUSHAIS AND CLASSIS. 231 

It is not improbable that he was occupied with 
some Lushai troops watching the contingent, to 
prevent, if possible, the latter assisting us when 
we were attacked. He also said that Poiboi had 
striven hard, at the Council held at Kungnung on 
the 24th, to induce his relatives to submit, but in 
vain. 

The supply of water was not very good at this 
village. There were two little springs, both fully 
a quarter of a mile from the camp, and with 
every arrangement of wells, but they could not be 
made to yield a sufficient supply, to prevent the 
coolies and Sepoys stirring the water up and 
making it muddy, when they filled their vessels. 

On the 31st, as one of our survey classis (men 
employed to carry instruments, &c.,) was return- 
ing with two brass vessels full of water in each 
hand, he met two Lushais who had passed the 
night in camp, on the narrow pathway. A 
scuffle ensued, and one of the Lushais wounded 
the classi severely with his dao on the forehead, 
just missing his eye, but penetrating the skull, 
and also on the arm. The other then seized the 
classi's red turban and his water-pots, and the 
two immediately made off. 



232 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

The classis, being principally Hindus, and pos- 
sessing strong caste prejudices, had frequently 
driven away with much harshness any Lushai 
who ignorantly approached too close to their 
cooking-pot or fire-place, while preparing their 
food. It is not unlikely, therefore, that this 
lordly invader had endeavoured to make the 
Lushais get out of his way, and that the latter 
had resented this insult in the usual manner 
with the dao. 

This was the explanation tendered by an officer 
of great experience among the natives, and though 
another worthy officer disposed of this argument 
entirely to his own satisfaction by the simple and 
laconic reply of " Bosh," I cannot help thinking 
that there was a good deal of probability, to say 
the least, in it. 

The Lushai, a fine spirited-looking youth, re- 
turned to Kungnung with a metua in the after- 
noon, was recognised, admitted at once that 
he had done the deed, and was apparently sur- 
prised to find himself tied up as a prisoner, 
remarking that when Poiboi heard how he had 
been treated it would be bad for us. 



ESCAPE OF A CAPTIVE. 233 

I made a sketch of him as he sat bound out- 
side the guard-room, evidently objecting to this 
enforced " sitting for his portrait." His whole 
attitude, and the vigilant look in his eyes, re- 
minded me strongly of some noble wild animal 
held captive, eagerly watching for the slightest 
opportunity of escape ; and such an opportunity 
presented itself to him, or rather he made it for 
himself the very next day, when, the troops having 
left Kungnung, his Goorkha guard was exchanged 
for one of Sappers and Miners, who were left 
behind to occupy the place. 

The Goorkhas, in the Jynteah and Cossyah Hill 
wars, had learnt, from sad experience, how easily 
a Hillman will escape if not carefully bound and 
watched, and had paid no attention to Simlam's 
signs that he was too tightly tied. These how- 
ever he repeated to the less experienced and more 
tender-hearted Sappers, and they loosed his bonds 
slightly. 

He then signed for some covering, and they 
put a rug over his shoulders. 

Suddenly, taking advantage of a moment when 
the sentry had relaxed his vigilance, this Lushai 



234 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Davenport Brother, flinging off rug and bonds 
together, and clearing the guard-house at a bound, 
disappeared into the jungle, before his discomfited 
guards could recover from their astonishment, to 
offer any opposition. He was to have been sent 
to Cachar, to be imprisoned there. His escape, 
however, probably saved us from a great deal of 
" political complications." 

On the 1st February, the General and staff 
with Mr. Edgar, and the advanced detachments 
of the 22nd and 44th regiments, marched out of 
Kimgnung along the western face of Muthilen. 
The path was narrow, and on a steep hillside, 
broken here and there by rocks and landslips. 

At length, after a weary toil under a hot sun, 
a little stream was reached where thefor.ce waited 
for a short time, refreshing themselves with the 
clear cold water, while a small party went on to 
find, if possible, a better camping ground ahead. 
This they did, and at five P.M. the troops reached 
the banks of a swiftly running stream, with 
a gravelly bed, the water cold as if iced. 

Lofty hills rose on all sides ; and the eleva- 
tion of the site was about five thousand two 



BATS IN A BAMBOO. 235 

hundred feet. The atmosphere was very damp 
and cold, the thermometer going down during 
the night to thirty-nine degrees. The gloom of 
the virgin forest seemed never to have been 
penetrated by the sun's rays. 

The huge forest trees were festooned with 
moss and creepers, "and a curious bamboo was 
found here, which we saw nowhere else ; each 
joint having a ring of thorns round it, and 
the joints seldom more than eight inches apart. 

In cutting some of these to build our huts, we 
found enclosed between the joints of a bamboo, 
four little bats, alive. How they came there, 
how long they had been there, and how being 
there they would, without our assistance, ever 
have got out, I leave to be explained by those 
who know all about the curious stories of toads 
found in coal, for I confess] myself unable to 
solve the mystery. The joints of the bamboo 
certainly seemed perfectly air-tight, for there was 
no perceptible opening. 

We had only time to construct hasty cantos of 
boughs and leaves ; and we soon discovered the 
disadvantages of attaching the framework of the 



236 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

maichaus to that of the walls of the canto, as 
the slightest movement on the part of any one 
sleeper communicated a vibration to the whole 
structure that soon aroused all the other occupants. 

I awoke in the middle of the night with a 
sensation of cold about my head, and hearing an 
unusual noise close to my ear. I looked up, and 
perceived by the light of the many camp-fires 
struggling through the mist, in which the giant 
moss-grown trunks loomed vast and weird, that 
a large gap had been made in the leafy wall, and 
putting out my hand it came in contact with a 
pony's head. I gave it a blow, and it went away, 
but shortly afterwards I heard sounds the reverse 
of blessing proceeding from a hut near. 

In the morning we found that the offender, 
who had disturbed our repose, was an officer's 
pony, which had got loose, and gone round the 
camp, devouring each hut in turn, till the sleeper 
within was aroused and drove it away. 

A heavy dew fell in the morning, and very 
glad everyone was to get some hot tea and 
depart. 

Here we received the news of Simlam's escape. 



TOUCHING SCENE. 237 

About nine a.m., the force commenced the on- 
ward march for Chelam, Poiboi's chief village, 
which we expected to reach that evening. The 
march was pleasant enough for the first four 
or five miles, lying along the east face of Leng- 
teng, through light forest, with grass and 
fern undergrowth. There were a great many 
orchids on the trees, but not in bloom ; and in 
one place we saw a young fir springing up 
through the grass. 

The road passed over several precipices, down 
which dashed little mountain streams ; at one 
of the most romantic of these, we were over- 
taken by Darpong, and a large number of 
Lushais bringing the metuas and elephant tusks. 

Among them came Bhoma, a Kholel man, 
with a captive Naga woman, whom he had taken 
from Munipur in 1869. A most touching scene 
ensued. Mr. Edgar, through his interpreter, 
informed her, in an affecting speech, that she 
might consider herself free to return with her 
liberators to the land of her birth. 

To the surprise of everyone, however, instead 
of expressing j oy, she took her pipe out of her 



238 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

mouth, burst into a torrent of tears, and falling 
on Bhoma's shoulder, declared, in broken lan- 
guage, that he had ever been kind to her, and, 
like Mrs. Micawber, that " she could never, 
never desert him." Unlike Mr. Micawber, poor 
Bhoma could not reply, " I am not aware, my 
love, that anyone wishes you to do so," for not 
only was a stony-hearted Political wishing it, 
but apparently urging her to do so. However, 
her distress was evidently real, and though nei- 
ther young nor pretty, the sight of her tears 
moved even that gentleman at last, and he de- 
clared, in another feeling address, that he would 
not constitute himself the Lord Penzance of the 
Lushais, nor come between her and the object 
of her elderly affections. This faithful one, then 
relieved from her suspense, walking hand in 
hand with her nearly lost Lushai lord, followed 
us on to Chelam. 

During our march, we crossed, about two p.m., 
a fine stream called the Saivar, at an elevation 
of three thousand seven hundred feet, and 
after a short ascent came upon a large open 
park-like plain, still covered with the stubble of 



POIBOI'S STRONGHOLD. 239 

recent cultivation. From this the ascent was 
very steep through old jooms to the hill above, on 
the other side of which was Chelam, at an ele- 
vation of five thousand eight hundred feet. 

At length, after a severe climb, in rounding a 
spur, we came in full view of Poiboi's stronghold. 
It was a large village. 

Poiboi's own house stood high above the others, 
which rose in tiers on each side of broad streets, 
stretching away down the slopes of the hill in 
all directions. There were about two hundred 
houses, the whole enclosed in a stiff timber 
stockade. 

Beyond this village rose two other peaks, on 
which stood two smaller villages, also stockaded, 
and containing between them some three hun- 
dred houses. 

No Lushais being seen, the troops marched 
into the principal village. Near the gate was a 
timber platform, with the usual posts capped with 
skulls ; among them, on a lofty pole, one human 
skull, marking the grave of a departed warrior ; 
others were scattered along the paths between 
the three villages. 



240 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

These had not long been deserted, as the fires 
were still smouldering, and trays, half filled with 
grain, were lying about. The houses were 
speedily told off to the different corps, and every- 
one commenced his arrangements for the night. 

In the middle of these, we suddenly heard 
great shouts and uproar and much squeaking ; 
and running out to see what was the matter, we 
beheld a most ridiculous sight. The Kookie and 
other Hill coolies, having got rid of their loads, 
had discovered a few pigs trying to hide away 
under some of the houses in a by-street, and 
in hunting these they succeeded in unearthing a 
great many more. 

Emerging from under the houses, and hurrying 
down the steep and narrow street, went the pigs, 
and after them, in full cry, armed with every 
variety of weapon, sticks, daos, kookries, rushed 
the coolies pell-mell ; tumbling over each other 
in their eagerness, and whacking at each unfortu- 
nate porker as it was overtaken. 

Some were killed at once; others, generally 
prize-sows, whose forms were not adapted to feats 
of agility, being quickly overtaken, had their four 



CONSUMPTION OF FRIZZLED PORK. 244 

feet tied together despite their remonstrances, 
and bamboos being passed between their legs, 
they were carried off to be killed and cut up at 
leisure. 

Great was the consumption of frizzled pork that 
night ; some of it, as we shall see, being wasted 
in the way described by Charles Lamb as leading 
to the discovery of the excellence of that viand 
when so cooked. 

This little excitement was soon over ; and we 
again returned to our abodes. My chief, two officers 
of the 22nd, and myself occupied one of the town 
halls, a fine commodious, though slightly airy build- 
ing, with an immense fireplace, in which the ashes 
were still smouldering. This fireplace was in the 
centre of the room, and sunk about a foot below the 
general level of the floor, thus affording many com- 
fortable sittings all round the fire. The principal 
drawback was the unsound state of the floor, which 
at one time caused the sudden disappearance from 
our gaze of a kitmutgar with part of the dinner, 
which we could ill-afford to lose ; however, we did 
very well, and about ten P.M. turned in, very glad, 
after a rather hard day's work, to get to rest. 

R 



242 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

We had not been to sleep an hour before the 
alarm of fire was given, and starting up we found 
that the lowest houses in one of the streets were 
in flames ; and the wind blowing upwards, great 
fears were entertained as to the probable de- 
struction of the whole village. The houses were 
dry and closely packed, and a single spark, or 
bit of smouldering tinder, carried by the breeze 
into the thatch, was sufficient to set a house on 
fire at once. 

The only thing to be done was to try to stay the 
progress of the fire by pulling down and removing, 
as far as possible, the most inflammable portions, 
such as the thatch, matting, &c., of the houses 
nearest the fire. Considerable exertions were 
made by all, and eventually proved successful, 
aided by a fortunate change in the direction of 
the wind, which carried the sparks harmlessly 
down the hill-side. Then, having covered the 
smouldering mass with earth, and leaving some 
Sepoys to see that the fire did not break out afresh, 
everyone went back to his quarters. 

Among the officers attached to the Column, 
there was one who was a great enthusiast for 



PRUDENCE OF A NATIVE BOY. 243 

colours, and possessed great appreciation of 
effects. Watching the fire, lighting up with its 
ruddy glare the sky, the village, and the forms 
of men rushing to and fro, he exclaimed, " Mag- 
nificent ! magnificent ! put it all in gamboge !" 
to which a grinning friend of his, passing at the 
moment, rejoined, " If you would put it all out 
with gamboge, it would be more to the purpose 
just now." 

I found that my boy, with a forethought not 
often met with in natives, had refrained from 
running to see the fire, and had packed up every- 
thing ready for an instant move, as he had done 
once before on the first alarm in the attack on 
Tipai Mukh, as if he expected that, the moment 
the Lushais appeared, we should all get into boats 
and sail gaily away. 

On this occasion his prudence involved some 
delay in getting to bed again, as all the bedding 
had to be unrolled and re-arranged. It was pro- 
bable that the fire was caused by some of the 
Kookies roasting their pork; and indeed, even 
while the fire was raging, and it was a toss up 
whether the whole village did not go, I saw some 

B 2 



244 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

coolies, sitting under the eaves of a house, cook- 
ing over a big fire, and the flames were within an 
inch of the dry thatch when I perceived them, 
fortunately. 

It was thought at first that this conflagration was 
the work of an incendiary ; but that was most un- 
likely, as Poiboi had consented to our occupying 
the village provided no damage was done to it. 

Of the two hundred houses in the village, only 
twenty-five, and one of the town-halls, were burnt 
or destroyed, as before related. 

Poiboi's house was similar to the one described 
in the Chapter on the Lushais ; the gable end was 
completely covered with skulls, among which 
was the finest pair of metua's horns we saw 
anywhere, as well as some magnificent specimens 
of sambar's antlers. 

The house itself was in rather a ruinous state, 
and being built on sloping ground, the front 
verandah was raised about twelve feet, and the 
sloping ramp of logs up to it decidedly dangerous. 
Rice, Indian corn, yams, herbs, &c., gourds 
of pig's lard, and large clay vessels of wine, 
were found in most of the houses. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



THE TROOPS ENCAMPED LALBOORA'S GATE A VISIT TO NATIVE 
VILLAGERS TELESCOPES DIFFICULTY OF OBTAINING PHOTO- 
GRAPHS CAPTIVES PLACED UNDER OUR PROTECTION THE 
MUNIPUR CONTINGENT POlBOl'S VACILLATION LUSHAI 
FORTIFICATIONS A LUSHAI TODTLEBEN. 



247 



CHAPTEE XVI. 

TJAVINGr so narrowly escaped this danger 
from fire, and the loss of property which 
must have followed it, if it had not been got 
under, and dreading a recurrence of the evil, the 
General determined to leave the village and to 
encamp in the open, wherever a good supply of 
water could be found. A small reconnoitring 
party, therefore, started early in the morning, 
and at last found very good camping ground, on 
the slopes of the hill, about a mile and a half from 
the village we had occupied, with a very fair 
spring of water. 

The ground for each corps was allotted to it, 
and soon huts were being constructed or tar- 
paulins rigged up. To the right and left of the 
camp stretched the range, rising in the rear 



248 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

to a height of two hundred feet, bleak and 
rugged. Bare jooms covered with long grass 
and the stubble of old crops, huge trunks 
of felled trees lying about in all directions, 
blackened stumps, and a few tall trees which had 
escaped the fire and the dao, still standing up 
out of the stubble these were the immediate 
surroundings of the camp. 

To the south and east, the view on a fine day 
is magnificent, an endless sea of hills stretching 
away as far as the eye can see, lighted up by a 
thousand soft and delicate tints ; and nearly due 
south, distant some fourteen miles as the crow 
flies, are Dilklang and Murklang, towering above 
their fellows like two giant warders, and guarding 
the entrance to Lalboora's country. To this pass 
we gave the name of Lalboora's Gate. 

Between this gate and Chelana lie many deep 
valleys and high ranges, the sides of which are 
broken by innumerable gloomy gorges and dark 
ravines. Very dreary and threatening does this 
country look on a stormy day, and very cold was 
our camp at night, the thermometer frequently 
going down as low as 33 degrees, while the ground 



STEONG WINDS. 249 

about our huts, and the waterproof sheets above 
them, were white with hoar-frost in the mornings. 

Strong winds swept up from the deep valley 
beneath, carrying off our fires in great swirls of 
sparks, and driving the pungent wood-smoke 
into our eyes with a force and painfulness that 
caused hasty flight from our log seats in all 
directions. 

To remedy this, we built semi-circular screens 
of boughs and grass, about six feet high, round 
the front of the huts, leaving only a small pas- 
sage at each end, and after that we could sit 
round the fire with much more comfort. 

After we left the village, some of the men 
came back to it; but most of them, with their 
women and children, remained in the jungles 
north of the Tuivai stream. From the hill behind 
the camp we could see, in the evening, the 
smoke of their fires curling up through the trees 
on the hill side. They feared to return, as Poiboi 
was still so undecided, and could not be induced 
to go in personally to make terms for himself, 
fearing a similar fate to that of Lalchokla in 
1844. 



250 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

In a little village, however, about four miles 
from our camp, and on the same range, the 
people were all living and pursuing their usual 
occupations. We paid them a visit one day; 
Captain Cookesley, R.A., taking his camera and 
tent for photographing. 

The villagers were very friendly ; men, women, 
and children flocked about to see what we had 
to show them. Binoculars, eye-glasses, tele- 
scopes, watches, and the camera were all, in turn, 
the subject of wonder and delight to the simple 
savages. 

In this village we saw a house, in front of 
which were five tall posts bearing rude repre- 
sentations of hornbills, thoroughly conventional, 
the only part in which there was any resemblance 
being the beak. Above each dangled a circlet 
of bamboo pendent. For what reason these were 
placed there we were unable to discover, having, 
unfortunately, no interpreter with us. 

The camera was set up and focussed in the 
house, and then the Lushais were allowed to 
file behind it, looking through as they passed, 
and great was their wonder and delight when 



TELESCOPES. 251 

they saw the house and their friends about it 
turned upside down. 

Telescopes pleased them very much. Mr. 
Burland told me that, in his previous expedi- 
tion with Mr. Edgar, he had shown them his 
telescope, and making them first look through 
the eye-piece, said, " When I want to shoot a 
man, I look through this end, and bring him 
very close." Then reversing it for them, he 
added, " But when I see a man wishes to shoot 
me, I look through it this way, and he is sent 
so far away that he cannot touch me ;" and they 
believed this. Seeing so many new and won- 
derful things they could not understand, this 
did not appear altogether incredible, as they 
actually saw the difference in the appearance of 
objects as seen through each end of the tele- 
scope. 

Revolvers excited their highest admiration, and 
many would have given almost all they had to 
become the possessor of one. 

Cookesley found it impossible to get figures 
in his pictures. The noble savage would stand 
motionless for half-an-hour while the plate was 



252 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

being prepared, but just as the cap was removed, 
he would calmly stroll right across the picture, 
and we could not explain to them what they were 
to do. 

We bought some fowls and eggs, which one 
of their number carried for us, and we returned 
to camp. 

In exploring the village nearest our camp, we 
found a grave newly made, and remains of a 
metua, hastily slain, lying near, the head as usual 
having been placed above. Probably this was 
the burial-place of some warrior who had died 
of his wounds, received on the 25th, and whose 
funereal ceremonies they had only just been able 
to perform before " the foe and the stranger 
should tread o'er his head." 

In front of the Muntri's house was a large 
headless monkey stuffed, and sitting on the 
doorway, his legs sticking out straight before 
him ; altogether a most ludicrous looking object. 
This village was more full of fleas than I could 
have believed any place to be. Even in the middle 
of the street, they were to be found as plentiful 
as in the house. 



A CAPTIVE BEOUGHT INTO CAMP. 253 

I sat down in the street for a few minutes to 
take a sketch, and I found on rising that they were 
even in possession of my innermost pockets, and 
added warmth to the colour of my light brown 
coat. 

An old woman, a captive, was found in Chelam 
and placed under our protection, to be conveyed 
to Cachar, and on the 7th February a little girl 
about four years old was brought into camp. She 
was said to have been brought from the Howlongs 
by Poiboi or Laboora. Her own account was that 
she had been taken off from a garden, and she 
spoke of a white child having been taken away at 
the same time. She could, when brought in, speak 
nothing but Lushai. 

Orders received from Government directed the 
two columns to effect a meeting, if possible, before 
retiring from the country, but added that there 
might be more important objects for them to 
carry out, and under any circumstances the 
columns were to be bacK at Cachar and Chitta- 
gong respectively by the 10th March. 

From telegrams received from General Brown - 
low, conveying information of his whereabouts and 



254 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

intended movements, it seemed highly improbable 
that a junction of the two columns would be 
effected, and as the reduction of Laboora's people 
to submission was the most important object for the 
Left Column to carry 'out, and the time was run- 
ning short, the General decided to remain at 
Chelam till twelve days' supplies were raised there, 
and then, with the force " flying light " as possible, 
to make a hurried descent on Lalboora, reduce 
him to submission, and return at once. 

Notice of this intended plan of operations was 
telegraphed to Brownlow, with the approximate 
latitude and longitude of Chumfai, and the pro- 
bable date of arrival there ; and also the intimation 
that on two consecutive nights rockets and blue 
lights would be fired from our camp, in the hope 
that, if General Brownlow could see them, com- 
munication by signalling might be effected. 

On the llth January, Colonel Rattray, with a 
wing of the 42nd, arrived at Chelam, to occupy 
the camp, which had been slightly stockaded ; 
and from the 42nd the strength of the 44th and 
22nd was made up to four hundred, who, with the 
Artillery, formed the force the General intended 
to take on with him. 



PROVISIONS FOUND IN A CAVE. 255 

In order to relieve the Commissariat as far as 
possible, and to facilitate the return march, all 
ponies and all servants, except one for each officer, 
were sent back to Chepui. All the coolies were 
employed during the halt in bringing up supplies 
from the rear. 

Eice in large quantities, yams, beans, and 
many domestic articles were found hidden away 
about a mile from camp, in a large cave on 
the hill-side, through which a tiny stream of 
water trickled ; and close to this stream was a 
small basket, containing a little rice suspended 
from a small two foot bamboo. On one side of 
the basket hung a slight diamond-shaped frame- 
work on which were twisted cotton threads, red, 
black, and white, the representation of a stockade 
about a foot high, behind which were arranged 
little lumps of clay pinched up into the semblance 
of men without legs, completing the arrangement 
by which I suppose the Lushais thought to pro- 
pitiate their gods, and secure their protection 
for this concealed property. 

In this cave was a very fine collection of 
antlers. Foraging parties also discovered large 



256 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

quantities of rice in many places around ; this was 
all brought into camp and husked, the Lushais 
being paid for it at a fair rate. 

While still at Chelam we heard that the Munipur 
contingent had been obliged to retire from Chibu, 
in consequence of the ever increasing difficulty of 
getting up supplies, and having lost more than half 
their number from sickness and desertion. 

This, it was feared, might give GeneralBourchier 
more trouble in his advance on Chumfai, as the 
Lushais, released from watching the contingent, 
would be able to concentrate their forces to 
oppose our column ; but it was not known what 
their action would be after we left Chelam. 

Rumours reached us of a strongly fortified place 
not very far from Chelam, where, if we were 
opposed at all, it was probable that the Lushais 
would make a stand. 

On the llth Darpong came in with several of 
his countrymen, and informed us that Lalboora, 
leaving the village to its fate, had taken refuge 
among the Pois, and that no further opposition 
was intended. 

Lalboora's mother, we were also informed, had 



EOAD BEYOND CHELAM. 257 

done all she could from the first to induce her 
sons to submit, and they had consented to grant 
all our demands. This was all very satisfsctory, 
but no one knew how far it was reliable, and on 
the 1 2th the force, composed of the troops before 
detailed, marched from Chelam camp. 

The weight of the Sepoys' baggage was now 
reduced to one half, the officers' baggage to a 
couple of blankets as bedding, one change of 
raiment, and a few cooking utensils. Everyone 
was pleased to be once more on the move after the 
nine days' halt, and all were looking forward 
to a speedy conclusion of the campaign. 

Before starting, Mr. Edgar heard that Poiboi 
had actually come into the village to meet us; 
but that, having got so far, his courage again 
failed, and the desired interview did not take place. 

The road beyond Chelam bore the appearance 
of being much used, and in the steeper parts 
steps were cut. One curious fact about the 
Lushai paths is that, if a tree falls across one, they 
never take the trouble to remove it, but merely 
cutting foot-holds in it, allow it to remain where 
it fell. 

s 



258 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

About a mile from camp we came to a leafy 
ravine, with a little stream running through it. 
It was spanned by a picturesque bridge, formed 
by the large trunk of a single tree, supported by 
small trestles with a bamboo roadway, creepers 
brought down from the trees above serving as 
additional ties and supports for the handrails. 

Not far beyond this we passed the remains of 
a very large Lushai encampment, and a little 
further on heard two shots fired in front, and 
thought we were in for a little excitement. 
These, however, turned out only to be signal shots 
from scouts on the watch in the villages ahead, 
giving intimation that the troops were on the 
road. 

About noon we passed through a village con- 
taining about thirty-eight houses, called Raimang, 
prettily situated on the slopes of the hill, crown- 
ing a very steep precipice. The villagers had 
gone into the jungle on our approach, but, on 
signs being made to some who were visible, they 
returned. 

The march thence was continued along the hill- 
side through extensive jooms, finally descending 



STEONG STOCKADE. 259 

towards afternoon to the level grassy valley of 
the Dimlui, a clear, pretty little stream. 

Here we were joined by some villagers from 
Tulcheng, a village a little ahead, which we had 
seen from Chelam. At this village the General 
determined to encamp for the night, and after a 
short halt the force again addressed itself to the 
hill. 

About four P.M. we found ourselves in a deep 
ravine which had been prepared for a most for- 
midable defence. A very strong stockade occu- 
pied an excellent position, commanding the road 
for two or three hundred yards from the opposite 
side of the ravine, the passage of which had been 
rendered almost impossible by a number of large 
felled trees, so entangled together as completely 
to impede our route. 

The hill to the right ran up to about four or five 
hundred feet above the road, and on this slope 
several small stockades and breast-works afforded 
flank defence to the principal one, and would have 
rendered very difficult any attempt to turn it ; 
while it could not have been taken with a rush, 
as the troops floundering through the dense and 

s 2 



260 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

tangled mass would have been exposed to fire 
from the stockade in front, and at the same time 
to the heavy fire sweeping the ravine from these 
flankers. Moreover, there was no very suitable 
position from whence the artillery could have 
opened fire. 

These fortifications had, it was evident, been 
only recently prepared for the express purpose 
of opposing our advance, and indeed had not been 
quite completed when Lalboora made up his mind 
not to fight. The path had been cleared again 
when we arrived ; and the troops pulled down the 
principal stockade. Then passing on through a 
narrow defile, we came upon a second smaller and 
less strong stockade. The path wound between 
small eminences, several crowned with timber 
breastworks, so that if the Lushais had chosen 
to defend this ravine, we should have had all our 
work cut out for us ; and considering the lateness 
of the hour at which we arrived, we could hardly 
have made ourselves masters of the situation be- 
fore dark. 

This was the most strongly fortified position we 
had met with in the country. It was evident, I 



A LUSHAI TODTLEBEN. 271 

think, that the Lushais, remarking the compara- 
tive ease with which we turned a single stockade 
across the road, treating it with the greatest con- 
tempt, saw the necessity of some further flank 
defences ; and certainly the man who chose this 
position and planned these fortifications might, 
under more favourable circumstances and among 
a more civilized people, have become a Todtleben 
or a Burgoyne. 



CHAPTER XVII. 



THE TRUE POIBOI DEFENCES OF THE VILLAGE OF TULCHENG 
SCARCITY OF WATER ROMANTIC STORY OF TWO CHILDREN 
VALLEY OF OF THE LUI-TAO HEAVY FIRING HEARD LETTER- 
WRITING UNDER DIFFICULTIES INGENIOUSLY CONSTRUCTED 
GATE. 



265 



CHAPTER XVII. 

villagers had requested the General, as 
all their women and children were there, 
not to occupy the village. Since the fire at 
Chelam, he had determined not to halt in a 
village, and so he readily acceded to their request, 
only requiring them to bring out some material 
for huts, which they did. 

As it was about six o'clock by this time, the 
troops were not able to hut themselves. Water- 
proof sheets and tarpaulins were hastily rigged 
up. We had a large tarpaulin for our instruments, 
and this with a waterproof sheet formed a very 
fair shelter, underneath which we squeezed in 
between theodolite, plane-table, &c., the inequali- 
ties and slope of the ground being rectified in some 
degree by bags of rice, atta, &c., (our coolies' 



26G THE LUBHAI EXPEDITION. 

rations) which, however, made a lumpy place of 
rest. 

The day's march had been a trying one. Though 
only nine miles in actual distance, it had occupied 
nine hours in time, owing to the steep ascents and 
descents, and the narrowness of the path, along 
which the force slowly wound its way in single file, 
with frequent checks and halts. We saw a very 
handsome sago-palm during the journey, the 
first we had seen in these hills. 

The next morning we started again at nine 
o'clock. The villagers at first objected to our 
passing through the village itself, but a compro- 
mise was effected by sending the coolies round. 

Darpong told Mr. Edgar early in the morning 
that Poiboi, who had followed us from Chelam 
and halted during the night at the Dimlui, was 
then in the village. Mr. Edgar sent Hurri Thakoor, 
(his right-hand man and interpreter, familiarly 
known as Harry Tucker), with Engloom and 
another Lushai fugitive, to identify him. 

He turned out to be the true Poiboi this time. 
He promised to be faithful to us for the future, 
but was very nervous during the interview, and, 



POIBOl's TIMIDITY. 267 

like some timid animal, darted off now and then 
towards the jungle, as if he feared being caught by 
some stratagem, notwithstanding the assurances 
of his muntri that there was no danger of this. 

Afterwards, as Mr. Edgar was watching the 
coolies passing the village from the height above, 
Darpong told him that Poiboi was on an adjoin- 
ing hill and wanted to see him. Mr. Edgar re- 
plied that the chief must go to see the General, 
who had ridden on ; but this he could not be pre- 
vailed on to do, and thus the last chance of an 
interview with the chief was lost. 

Poiboi was a very young man, about twenty 
years of age, and had been so much impressed 
by the history of Lalchokla, that he could not 
bring himself to believe in our promises to re- 
spect his liberty, especially after implicating him- 
self in the affair of the 25th. 

The village of Tulcheng was surrounded by a 
very strong stockade, which was defended against 
escalade by a thick hedge of brushwood running 
all along the top, in which were firmly secured 
bamboo stakes inclining outwards and down- 
wards. The entrances were defended by 



268 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

strong gates, which were made of thick planks, 
each cut out of one tree, with a large projecting 
piece left at the back, through which the securing 
bar was passed. Each plank was pivoted at 
the top and bottom 'in a strong framework of 
timber. 

A short distance from the village the path 
went over a steep bit of rock, about twelve feet 
high, the descent being accomplished by a rickety 
bamboo ladder which delayed the troops consider- 
ably. The Goorkhas, in their thick boots, were 
very nervous in crossing such places, whereas 
without their boots they ran up and down them 
like cats. The coolies fortunately found another 
and easier route from the village. 

We discovered another very handsome speci- 
men of the sago palm in the ravine beyond this 
rocky descent. 

Crossing the ravine, the road ascended and ran 
along the edge of a very steep precipice, and 
continued along the range without any very great 
descent. There was great difficulty in finding 
water, mile after mile being traversed without 
meeting even a trickle. At last, towards evening, 



BULJUNG. 2G9 

we came out on a large grassy level, with an 
elevation of about six thousand feet, overlooking 
the entrance to Lalboora's country. 

The scene was a very fine one. Heavy clouds 
hung over the pass, on each side of which Dilk- 
lang aad Murklang rose to a height of nearly 
seven thonsand feet, dark and frowning, while 
between and beyond lay the valley of the Tui-tao ; 
and far away the high mountains of the Sokte*s 
and Burmese rose against the sky, softly lighted 
up by a few level rays of the declining sun, 
which struggled through a distant break in the 
dark clouds. 

Soon after we found water, a very scanty sup- 
ply, and far from our camping ground, near a 
small deserted village, called Buljung, situated 
on a spur of the Dilklang, formally inhabited by 
Lenkom's people. Here we encamped after an- 
other nine miles of tedious march. 

The small supply of water was our great grief, 
but we hoped to get down to the river, in the 
valley, the next day, and so made the best of it. 
A pint of water was the allowance for four for 
washing in next morning, a solemn compact 



270 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

being made that no soap was to be used till each 
had dipped his face. 

A military authority, I forget who, writing on 
campaigning, says, " Officers will be astonished 
to find what a very small amount of washing is 
necessary to their happiness, 5 ' or words to that 
effect, and we had often occasion to acknowledge 
the truth of the remark. " The means to do ill 
deeds make ill deeds done," and though washing 
hands is not exactly an ill deed, yet the fact of 
having soap and water at hand, I have no doubt, 
is often the cause of an unnecessary washing of 
these members. 

The evening of our arrival at Buljung, we 
were joined by two little children, a boy and girl, 
of the Sadoe tribe, with a very romantic history. 
They had lived with their father and three other 
children in a village about ten miles off. The 
Sadoes, in this village, had been detained there 
against their will by the Lushais, and they took 
advantage of the presence of the Contingent, at 
Chibu, to effect their escape. 

On the night of the villagers' exodus, the 
father took his three young children on his back 



THE TUI-TAO. 271 

and in his arms, the two elder ones following. 
In the darkness and confusion, the poor little 
things missed their father and lost themselves in 
the jungle, in which they wandered for several 
days, living on roots and berries. 

At length they reached a village, where they 
heard of the approach of our column, and that 
their maternal uncle was with it. When they 
heard that the force was at Tulcheng, they 
started for Buljung, and awaited our arrival 
there. They remained with us, and accompanied 
us on the return to Cachar. 

The next day, February 14th, a slight shower 
fell about six a.m., but soon cleared off again, 
and we marched at the usual hour, descending 
the west face of Dilklang, to the east of which 
rises the Tui-tao, probably a tributary of the 
Koladyne, if not the Koladyne itself. We de- 
scended some seventeen hundred feet into the 
flat alluvial valley of the Tui-tao, which joins 
the Teo about six or seven miles south of Bul- 
jung. The valley is very level, as its name im- 
plies, Tui " water," Tao " sitting." We found 
that we had crossed the water parting at Dil- 



272 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

lang, and that thenceforth the streams flowed in 
a southerly direction. 

Our path lay along the banks of the river for 
about three miles, crossing it repeatedly, and 
passing through tall reeds and wormwood. Our 
march was a short one, about five miles altoge- 
ther, and very easy. 

We arrived at our halting place, where a small 
stream joined the Tao, about one p.m., . and 
forthwith set about to build little huts. Plenty of 
trees, with large leaves, and grass growing in this 
spot, we had no difficulty in speedily construct- 
ing our shelter ; and then proceeded in a body 
to enjoy the luxury of a bathe in a wide pool, 
among large stones, where the river widened 
slightly. We took down a change of raiment, 
and having bathed ourselves, we proceeded to 
wash our discarded suits, each officer becom- 
ing his own dhobi with much satisfaction to 
himself having so much water to play with being 
really a treat. 

This camp became "No. 17 Station," and a 
halt was made .on the 15th to give the coolies a 
rest, which they much needed, as many had 



FIRING HEAED AT A DISTANCE. 273 

only returned to Chelam with supplies the day 
before we started, and the two long marches 
to Tulcheng and Buljung and want of water had 
knocked them up. 

In the morning some Lushais scouts, who had 
been sent on the day before to reconnoitre, re- 
turned with the tidings that heavy firing had 
been heard in the direction of Chumfai. They 
supposed it was caused by an attack on the 
village of Chonchirn, in which Vonolel's widow 
lived, by some Sokte^s under Kamhow of Mol- 
bhem. 

Some other Lushai were at once sent off to 
find out the real facts. During the day a great 
many of Lenkom's people, and some Pois subject 
to that chief, came in bringing presents. 

It was fortunate that we did halt here this day, 
as heavy clouds had been gathering all the morn- 
ing, and about eleven A.M. a regular downfall 
commenced, which lasted till five P.M., detaining 
us inside our huts, endeavouring to keep our- 
selves and property dry a difficult matter, as the 
rain found out some weak place in the roof or 
waterproof sheets every five minutes. We solaced 

T 



274 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

ourselves with cold pork and pickles, and wrote 
home letters under difficulties. 

The next day was a very fine one indeed the 
Expedition was very fortunate as regards the 
weather throughout ; not getting rain more than 
four of five times, and then only on the halt. The 
first night at Daidoo was the only occasion on 
which we were seriously inconvenienced by it. 

Immediately on leaving camp we began to 
ascend the Murklang, and after a steep climb of 
three thousand feet, reached a small village of 
Paites or Sokte's, who had been settled there by 
Vonolel. This village was situated close to the 
edge of a very precipitous cliff, and was strongly 
stockaded ; the approaches from the south being 
also stockaded. 

The construction of the gate to the principal 
stockade was ingenious, though I am told it is 
common in all the hill districts of the Eastern 
frontier. It consisted of several thick uprights, 
which swung freely from a horizontal bar passing 
through their upper ends. These could be easily 
pushed aside to admit of anyone passing in or out, 
at the same time they were quickly secured on the 



A CENTENARIAN. 275 

inside by fixing a horizontal bar across them, 
about a foot from the ground. 

We were met by the whole population, men, 
women, and children ; among them were some 
very old men, including their head-man Engow. 
One white-haired old man, who said he was 
a hundred years old, and looked it, fell at the 
General's feet, and then rising, blessed him. 
They complained of the oppression of the Lushais, 
and said that ten armed men had been sent from 
their village to aid the Lushais in the attack of 
the 25th. They had been induced to do this, as 
they had heard fearful tales of the cruelties to 
which we should subject them if we got as far as 
their village; but when they heard how different 
was our real treatment of those by whom we were 
unopposed, they refused to join in defending the 
stockade at Tulcheng when called upon by Lal- 
boora and the other chiefs, saying, " Why. for 
your sakes, should we oppose people who will 
harm neither us nor our property if we do not 
oppose them ?" 

This was also the answer given by the inhabi- 
tants of several other subject villages, and it is 

T 2 



276 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

probable that this defection influenced in some 
measure Lalboora's decision not to fight. 

We learned also from these villagers that the 
Sokte*s had attacked Chonchim, but had been 
beaten off with the loss of four of their number ; 
one Lushai had been killed, and four wounded. 

From the village the pathway ran along the 
east face of Murklang, a rocky precipice, clothed 
here and there with trees and grass, having a sheer 
descent of some thousand feet. Beneath nestled 
a small village, and beyond lay the broad and 
smiling valley, through which far below, like a 
silver thread, the Teo wound its way. High hills 
of dark green, on the slopes of which the jooms 
shone like gold in the bright sunshine, rose in the 
background. 

The beauty of the scene was heightened by the 
rhododendrons which clothed the hill-side on either 
side of the road, and were then in all their glory 
of brilliant blossoms, and helmets and turbans 
became gaily decorated. Even the guns were not 
forgotten ; their prosaic steel forms being also 
adorned with the bright flowers, with almost loving 
care, by their Sikh gunners. 



VALLEY OF CHUMPAI. 277 

Shortly after we passed through a magnificent 
pine forest ; a gentle breeze sighing through the 
tall pines wafted their sweet perfume across our 
onward path. We passed two deserted villages 
without meeting with any water, and finally 
descended into the Chumfai valley, where we en- 
camped very late in the evening, having covered 
nearly thirteen miles in the day's march. Mes- 
sengers were at once sent on to Chonchim, re- 
quiring the people to submit. 

The valley of Chumfai is about five miles long, 
with an average breadth of a mile, and an eleva- 
tion of four thousand nine hundred feet ; the hills 
all round rising to a height of above one thousand 
or twelve hundred feet. The ground is swampy 
in many places, and low hills, covered with small 
leafless trees, are dotted over its surface. 

This valley seems to have once been a lake, 
which has gradually silted up in the manner de- 
scribed by Captain Pemberton, with reference to 
the Loytak Lake in 1835. 

" The bed has begun very perceptibly to fill up 
from deposits of silt, from the surrounding heights, 
which are continually carried into it, and if this 



278 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

process continues, a few years will suffice to 

obliterate the lake altogether." 

" There runs in the lake a range of low hills, 
the portions of which, not covered with water, 
form islands. 

The low hills in the Chumfai valley, which now 
look isolated, are probably peaks of a similar low 
range which ran through the lake, the alluvial 
deposit having taken the place of the water in 
covering up the lower portions of this range. The 
soil of this plain seems to be fertile, but is at 
present uncultivated. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



VONOLEL'S VILLAGE VONOLEL'S TOMB PLEASING TRAIT IN A 

DOCTOR BUILDING OPERATIONS CONDITIONS OF PEACE 
FRATERNISING MADAME RACHEL'S WIDELY-SPREAD REPU- 
TATION OUR INTERCOURSE WITH THE LUSHAIS LIGHTING 
PIPES EXPERIMENTS WITH THE BURNING GLASS. 



281 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

next day, February 17th, the force 
marched about four miles to the other end 
of the valley, where on some long broad spurs of 
a high hill stood Lungvel, the village of Vonolel. 
This village we found deserted, and it had the ap- 
pearance of having been so for some time, the 
houses being in a tumble-down state. It had 
been a very large village, and was said to have 
contained a thousand houses, but only about 
half that number were remaining when we arrived. 
We found Vonolel's tomb on an open elevated 
spot a similar erection to Voupilal's tomb, al- 
ready described. This, however, was more elabor- 
ate and in a better state of preservation, and the 
posts around, kept in their places by a horizontal 
bar, supported a perfect forest of horns and 



282 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

heads Inside the tomb a broken Burmese idol 
was placed in state, and in the centre was a post 
bearing a very large metua skull, from one of 
the horns of which a human head and arm, re- 
cently cut off, were suspended, and beneath, just 
outside the tomb, we found a foot. 

The unfortunate whose head and limbs these 
were, we afterwards learned was one of the Sokte*s 
killed in the attack on Chonchim two days before. 
The eyes had been torn out, the skull . smashed, 
and shot-marks and spear-cuts disfigured the 
face, which in life must have been a very pleas- 
ing one. A doctor with us went up to inspect 
the head, and exclaimed with the greatest in- 
dignation : 

" What confounded brutes !" 

" Humane man, pleasing trait in a doctor," was 
the thought that suggested itself to his hearers, 
till he further enlightened them as to the cause 
of his humane anger. 

" They have actually smashed the skull, and I 
would have given anything for it for my museum." 

In fact all the medicos with us were quite as 
eager for Lushai skulls as any Lushai could have 



GENERAL'S ADDRESS. 283 

been for theirs ; though, in the interests of civili- 
zation, the Lushais' heads would have reposed 
in glass cases on velvet cushions probably, while 
those of our friends would have been elevated on 
poles exposed to the wind and the rain. 

When all the troops had come up, they were 
formed up in a hollow square in front of the tomb, 
and the British flag was hoisted on a tall, bare 
tree " on a spot where British flag had never 
before fluttered in the breeze." 

The General addressed his little force in a few 
well-chosen and appropriate sentences ; telling 
them that at last the goal had been reached, and 
we stood in Yonolel's stronghold. Then thanking 
them in behalf of the Queen and Viceroy for their 
admirable behaviour throughout, he concluded 
by saying that little more remained to be done 
before the force would commence the homeward 
march. 

At the close of this address three hearty cheers 
were given in the true British fashion ; then the 
Sepoys invoked their gods in their peculiar 
manner ; and the shouts of triumph must have 
struck terror into the hearts of the Lushais who 



284 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

crowded the village of Vonolel's widow on a high 
neighbouring hill, whence from afar they could 
watch the invader, and must have impressed 
those who still counselled opposition with the 
futility of resisting this confident foe. 

While the troops were drawn up before the 
tomb they were photographed by Captain 
Cookesley, who was afterwards engaged in taking 
a photograph of the tomb when the village was 
fired. The Sepoys told off for this duty lighted 
the lower houses to windward first, contrary to 
orders, and poor Cookesley suddenly found him- 
self surrounded by the flames, and had a narrow 
escape from losing all his apparatus. 

The tomb was not destroyed, but the head 
and arm of the Sokte* were removed and 
buried, and I trust he is happier in consequence. 

The troops were withdrawn to the valley below, 
and encamped there along the banks of the 
little stream flowing through it, which rises in 
the hills near the village. This camp was in a 
very pleasant spot, dry, open, and grassy, under 
large bare trees ; the ground beneath being 
covered with their withered leaves. The whole 



BUILDING OPERATIONS. 285 

scene reminded one strongly of some woodland 
landscape at home in winter time, especially in the 
early morning, when the hoar-frost still lies white 
upon leaf and grassy blade. 

The village and the grassy mounds supplied 
us with plenty of materials for hutting ourselves 
very comfortably. A great many excellent planks 
were found in the houses; and one officer, on 
the principle of doing as the Lushais do, erected 
a stockade of planks round his little sleeping- 
place, and decorated the entrance with a huge 
metua head, a little monkey's skull also grinning 
between the horns. 

While these building operations were going on, 
the head-men of Chonchirn came into camp, but 
were refused an audience till they could give up 
some of the plunder taken from Monirkhal, &c. 

During the evening, a policeman's musket, 
pouch, and coat, the coat of a Sepoy of the 4th 
N.I. killed at Monirkhal, and some brass vessels 
were brought in and delivered up, with a promise 
that other articles should follow. 

The head-men were then told that the General 
intended to visit their village next day, and they 



286 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

would be required to attend in camp beforehand 
to hear the terms imposed upon them, and to 
accompany the General to the village. 

Scattered about near our camp, we found 
several curious stones, about six feet long. Each 
of the latter was generally rudely carved with a 
figure of a man holding a dao and spear, with a 
gourd and metua head near. On one stone about 
fifteen little figures were cut, holding hands, as if 
" going round the mulberry bush," or some similar 
dance. 

I could not find out if these were graves ; I 
believe they were not, but only a kind of com- 
memorative stones. 

The next morning, the 18th February, the 
head-men appeared in camp, and the terms decided 
on by the General and Mr. Edgar in .consultation, 
were stated to them. 

Firstly If they were unable to produce Lal- 
boora (who was said to have taken refuge among 
the Pois), three head-men of the village should 
accompany the column as hostages as far as Tipai 
Mukh. 

Secondly That they should agree to receive 



CONDITIONS OF PEACE. 287 

agents of Government in their villages when de- 
manded. 

Thirdly That they should restore all firearms 
taken at Monirkhal and the Nudigram ; and if 
they were unable to collect the full number 
of twelve at once, that they should give up that 
number of their own weapons, which could after- 
wards be re-exchanged. 

Fourthly That they should deliver as a fine, a 
war-drum, a set of gongs, large and small, an 
amber necklace, two large tusks, four metuas, 
ten goats, ten pigs, fifty fowls, and twenty maunds 
of husked rice. 

The head-men were also informed that in case 
these two last conditions were not complied with 
before the morning of the 20th, their village 
would be attacked and destroyed. They at first 
declared they were too hard, and Darpong, flying 
into a passion, said he wished to go home. 

The General replied that the head-men might 
take their choice between submission and the 
destruction of their village ; and told Darpong 
he was quite at liberty to go home if he wished. 
This brought him to his senses, and he did not go 



288 THE LTJSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Soon after this, the General, taking with him 
one hundred and fifty men, ascended the hill 
towards Chonchim. On the way we met some 
more of the head-men, who turned back with us. 
As we approached the village, we could see a 
large number of armed Lushais standing outside 
a stockade, on the open crest of the hill above. 
They shouted at us, and made various hostile 
demonstrations. 

The Goorkhas were at once extended in skir- 
mishing order, and advanced steadily, with sloped 
arms, up the steep ascent, which was very thinly 
wooded. At the same time, the head-men, 
evidently fearing a collision, ran on in front of 
us, calling out as they unwound turbans and 
sheets, and waved them wildly over their heads as 
they fled on up the hillside. Their words, and, 
probably, the determined manner in which the 
Sepoys advanced, not heeding in the slightest 
the Lushai muskets pointed at them, had the 
desired effect ; and, as we advanced, the Lushais 
retired within the stockade. 

Passing through this, a short walk brought us 
to the village, also strongly stockaded. Both 



PARLEY WITH THE HEAD-MEN. 289 

stockades bore the marks of the fight of a few 
days before ; the outer one being broken through 
in one or two places, where the Soktes had 
forced an entrance, and the stockade round the 
village itself was pierced with many bullet-holes 
near the gateway. 

On the path we saw a large blood-stain, and 
in the ravine below lay the corpse of a Sokte*. 
Arrived at the gate, we found all the Lushais 
had withdrawn inside and shut it, and were 
ranged along the stockade as if to defend it. 

A parley ensued between the head-men and 
the General, who drew up the troops facing the 
stockade. The danger of another scrimmage 
did not, even then, seem quite past ; but, at 
length, the General and officers with him, and 
twenty Sepoys were admitted. 

The muskets had been concealed as if by 
magic, and all the houses were shut up. The 
women and children had been removed to the 
jungles, and below the village, guarding the 
approach to their place of concealment, we could 
see two armed Lushais pacing to and fro with 
all the regularity and steadiness of a British 

u 



290 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

sentry ; shewing in their grave and anxious faces 
their sense of a great responsibility. 

We remained in the village about three hours, 
while Captain Badgley surveyed from a very 
favourable open spot, at the highest part of the 
village, the surrounding country ; a confused 
sea of hills on all sides, among which it was 
exceedingly difficult, from this point of view, to 
recognise our old friends of the more northerly 
part of the country. 

'We could see far away to the west the high 
hills of the Howlong and Syloo tribes, where 
General Brownlow was doing battle with his re- 
fractory chiefs ; and we hoped that he might be 
able to see our signals. 

While Badgley was surveying, and the General 
and Mr. Edgar were explaining their terms, and the 
necessity for compliance with them, to the head- 
man and the serious-minded portion of the com- 
munity, [the younger ones, with a happy care- 
lessness of all negotiations, were making great 
friends among the invaders, with whom they had 
been within an ace of exchanging shots scarcely 
an hour before. 



EEPUTATION OF MADAME RACHEL. 291 

These men were much, astonished at the fair- 
ness of our skins. The " world-wide fame of 
Madame Rachel" seems to have penetrated even 
to this remote corner of the globe ; perhaps even 
some of " the swift-pacing camels " have visited 
Chumfai (and we have the authority of the 
Graphic for believing that camels can climb the 
Lushai hills, " all opinions of Indians to the 
contrary notwithstanding) " for the purpose of 
collecting the rare flowers and simples (over and 
above those found at home), so necessary to 
the art of "beautifying for ever." I say the 
lady's fame seems to have reached even the 
Lushais, as they evidently thought it was to some 
such art as hers that we owed the comparative 
fairness of our faces and hands. They made signs 
to us to turn up our sleeves, when loud were their 
cries of amazed delight at finding that the skin 
above our wrists was actually whiter than our 
hands. Even then some of the most sceptical 
were not satisfied that the white would not come 
off, till they had rubbed it well with wet fingers, 
examining the latter after the process very care- 
fully. 

u 2 



292 



THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 



The Lushais were much pleased with the simple 
process of lighting a pipe or fuel by means of a 
burning glass ; and after a short time, to show them 
one was the signal for the instant production of 
pipes which had gone out. They themselves 
generally carry a rough flint and steel, and small 
pieces of rag in a small bamboo box. 

They could not understand how the fire was 
brought down, and often put out their hands to 
feel the burning power of the glass when focussed 
upon them. After submitting to the experiment 
for a few seconds, they invariably drew back 
suddenly, with an exclamation of pain and sur- 
prise, intensely gratifying to their friends who 
had already tested the power of the burning-glass. 

I have mentioned that the Lushais are not a 
tall or bearded race, and one of the officers, who 
was gigantic in stature, with a long thick beard, 
was looked upon by them as a most wonderful 
being. It was intensely amusing to see them 
stealing up behind him one by one, when they 
thought his attention was engaged with something 
in front, and, stretching up one hand and arm at full 
length, stand on tip-toe while they tried to reach 



BEHEADING-BLOCK. 293 

the level of the top of his helmet. Sometimes by a 
sudden and judicious application of his elbow he 
sent them sprawling, much to the amusement of 
those who had accomplished their object without 
detection. Others measured the length of his 
beard on their arms. 

When pointing out a hill or other distant object, 
the Lushais give vent to a curious long note, 
gradually dying away, to express something very 
far off, before mentioning the name of the hill, &c., 
very much as I have heard Scotch friends of 
mine on similar occasions say 

" That hill far awa-a-a-ay." 

In the open space above referred to, we saw the 
stump of a large tree used as a beheading-block, 
there were traces on it of a recent execution, 
brains and hair, and the villagers explained by 
signs that the Sokte", whose head they pointed 
to on the distant tomb, had been executed there, 
and showed us a small stick with which his 
eyes had been prised out. 

They appeared to view the whole as a most 
praiseworthy performance, and indeed the treat- 
ment of traitors and prisoners in our own country, 



294 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

in ages when the English were regarded as being 
much more enlightened than the Lushais are 
now, was often very little, if at all, better than 
theirs. 



CHAPTER XIX. 



DELIVERY OP THE FINE DIFFICULTY IN COLLECTING THE 
MTJSKETS ACCEPTABLE CHANGE OF DIET THE COMMISSA- 
RIAT AUSTRALIAN MUTTON A COOLIE TRICK LUSHAI 
RAIDSTHE TRAGEDY AT PORT BLAIR RETURN MARCH. 



297 



CHAPTER XIX. 

A BOUT four o'clock the force fell in to return 
to camp Mr. Edgar repeating his terras 
once more outside the gate on leaving, and 
stating that the muskets must be given up and 
the fines paid within twenty-four hours. Three 
of the head-men returned with us. 

It was a beautiful afternoon, the soft breeze 
playing among the oaks and rhododendrons, as 
we waded on our way down the hill to the pretty 
little valley beneath. When we neared the camp the 
sun was setting, and the talHrees and low hillocks 
cast long purple shadows over the golden surface 
of the plain. 

The next day several parties were sent out in 
various directions to search for villages. Several 
were seen, but all at great distances. 



298 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

From the heights to the east of Chuinfai, we 
could see the open smiling valley of the Teo, 
and if time had permitted, it would have been 
worth while following its course in order to settle 
the question as to its really being the Koladyne 
itself, or simply an affluent of that river. 

During the day portions of the fine were brought 
in, but the General refused to receive anything 
till the muskets were all delivered. The Lushais 
promised they should all be produced during the 
night. 

The Lushais in the village, who possessed 
weapons of their own, were naturally averse from 
losing them, and cast lots as to whose should be 
given up. This did not always meet the case 
though, for as soon as the lot fell upon a man, 
he straightway disappeared into the jungle, 
taking his musket with him. All this, as the 
head-man complained, prevented the tale of mus- 
kets from being speedily completed. However, 
during the night they were all collected, and with 
the fine imposed upon them, were received into 
camp. The three muntris who were to accompany 
us as hostages, were also chosen at the same time. 



HALT AT CHUMFAI. 299 

Although all the terms which could be imme- 
diately enforced had been complied with by the 
villagers, and nothing more remained for the 
force to accomplish, yet it was decided to halt 
one day longer in Chumfai, partly to impress 
the Lushais with the idea that we were in no 
hurry to depart, and could have remained longer 
if we had chosen ; but principally because our 
work had been done in less time than was anti- 
cipated when we left Chelam, and by marching 
on the 20th, we should not have been able to 
signal to General Bourchier on that night from 
Chumfai, as he had been informed, by telegram, 
we should do. So it was decided to remain till 
the morning of the 21st, sending up rockets 
from one of the highest peaks east of Lungvel, 
and marching, on the 21st, to the summit of 
Murklang to send further signals from that hill. 

Portions of the fine, such as the fowls, pigs, 
&c., were distributed among the officers and 
men, and were very acceptable as a change after 
the tinned mutton and salt pork, which, also, 
at this period, were running rather short, as, in- 
deed, had been the case once or twice before; 



300 THE LUSHA1 EXPEDITION. 

and if we had not occasionally been able to 
get a few small tins of stores down by the dak, 
we should, more than once, have had nothing 
but rice during the day. Pickles were generally 
procurable ; but regarded as the staple of diet 
for several days, they pall upon the least fasti- 
dious taste. 

I must do the Commissariat Officers the justice 
to say that, amid all their troubles and anxieties, 
they invariably received complainants with the 
greatest politeness. The suaviter in modo was 
never wanting in their godowns, though the 
mutton in tins occasionally was. 

We were much amused at reading, in a home 
paper about this time, a letter from the Secre- 
tary of some Soup Society, complaining that an 
old pauper woman had refused to eat some Aus- 
tralian mutton he had given her, as being unfit 
for human food, and had returned it without 
thanks. We occasionally wished, when in a 
more than usually British grumbling mood, that 
this estimable old lady could have been placed on 
the Committee in Calcutta, when the question 
of rations was being considered, before starting 



A TRICK OF THE COOLIES. 301 

the Expedition. Perhaps, though, as the Com- 
mittee merely had to decide what others should 
eat and drink, she might not have expressed her 
opinion so forcibly. 

The coolies once, bringing up some rum to 
the front, drank half of it, and filled up the 
casks with water. This was brought to the 
notice of the Commissariat Officer thus. He had 
just come in from a long march, and was sitting 
down in camp, waiting for the coolies and ser- 
vants, when an officer offered him some rum 
and water, which he accepted. He tasted it, said 
it was " very weak," and asked to see the rum 
bottle. He put it to his lips, and without wink- 
ing drank the contents, the owner's allowance 
for several days, nearly all off. Then handing 
it back to the officer, he said, with a suave little 
motion of the head : 

" Ah, dear me ! dear me ! oh yes ! I see, you 
carry your rum and water ready mixed, Well ! 
well ! a very good plan." 

However, he was astonished to hear that this 
bottle had only just been filled from a Com- 
missariat cask, and inquiry resulted in the dis- 
covery of the coolies' malpractices. 



302 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

The fact of the plunder taken at Monirkhal 
being found in Lalboora's villages was very satis- 
factory ; for though Mr. Edgar had long been cer- 
tain of it, still others, and some high in authority, 
had doubted if the Left Column was taking the 
right direction for finding the principal offenders. 

Mr. Edgar learnt from the head-men that all the 
Lushais considered that " this village of Vonolel's 
gave the signal for every raid ; even for those 
conducted by independent chiefs ; and that the 
plunder taken in the last raids had all been taken 
first to Chumfai, and then distributed among the 
other villages." In the afternoon the gunners 
were sent up the hill fixed upon as the best 
from which to fire off the signals, and made their 
arrangements for the evening. 

The Lushais in camp were allowed to accom- 
pany them to witness the spectacle ; and when at 
last, about eight o'clock, the blue lights burned and 
the rockets went up, these unwashed Lushais 
expressed their admiration with exactly the same 
cries of " Oh ! Oh !" by which our own great un- 
washed at home are in the habit of evincing 
the satisfaction with which they behold a beautiful 



THE TEAGEDY AT PORT BLAIR. 303 

display at the Crystal Palace. No response was 
elicited from the dim and misty hills where 
General Bourchier was supposed to be, and the 
Artillery returned after waiting a sufficient time 
for the other column to reply. 

During the evening came the first rumours of 
the terrible tragedy at Port Blair, which we 
could scarcely believe, but which were afterwards 
too fully confirmed. 

Many of the staff-officers had the honour of 
being personal friends of the late Viceroy, but 
even those who had not, knew that in him they 
had lost one who took the greatest and most 
kindly interest in the welfare of all engaged in 
the Expedition, an interest evinced in a most 
flattering telegram which the General had received 
on the subject of the successes of the 25th and 
26th, concluding thus, 

" Telegraph direct how you are." 

This was only one out of many little proofs 
that he was watching attentively the progress of 
the Expedition, and not unmindful of the fate of 
those who were trying to make it successful. 
The calamity which the whole country was then 



304 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

deploring, cast a gloom over the termination of 
the campaign, and considerably lessened the anti- 
cipated joyousness of the homeward march. 

The next morning, amid much calling upon 
their gods, with many signs of rejoicing on the 
part of the Sepoys, and probably no less to the 
satisfaction of the Lushais, our troops commenced 
the return march. 

Looking at them from the heights above, the 
line looked like a long serpent gradually uncoiling 
itself from the camp, soon extending nearly the 
whole length of the valley, and creeping slowly 
over hillocks and along the level plain ; a column 
of smoke from the fired camp proclaiming the de- 
parture of the rear-guard. 

We camped that evening on Murklang, and 
further signals were sent up, also without any 
response. The villagers came out and mixed 
with the Sepoys with the greatest confidence, and 
brought out materials for huts. These could only 
be very hastily constructed, and most of us rigged 
up waterproof sheets and tarpaulins as little tents. 
A heavy shower of rain fell about nine P.M., but 
fortunately did not last long. 



FEARS OP THE NATIVES. 305 

But little more remains to be chronicled; the 
return march was made over the road and through 
the villages already described. The villagers at 
Tulcheng came out in crowds to greet us as we 
passed, but at Chelam great anxiety was visible 
among the people. This was caused by the failure 
of Colonel Rattray to induce Poiboi to appear in 
camp, and, consequently, they feared that the 
General would carry out his threat of destroying 
their villages. 

They came into camp on the day the troops 
halted there, and besought him to spare them, 
saying should he still adhere to his resolution 
they would bring in their women and little children 
also to fall at his feet and pray for mercy. 

The General yielded to their prayers. He felt, 
as indeed did everyone, that after our camp had 
been allowed to remain close to their villages for 
so long without any annoyance, and the coolies 
and dak guards had daily passed to and fro 
without any molestation from the Lushais, it 
would be an ungenerous, as well as an ungrace- 
ful, act to burn their houses on our departure, 
especially after Poiboi' s promise to be faithful to 

x 



306 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

us. His refusal to see the General in person, the 
latter attributed, and no doubt rightly, to the ab- 
ject fear of an unreasoning boy. 

The troops halted one day at Chelam to allow 
the wing of the 42nd, who had been holding the 
camp, to go ahead, taking with them the sick and 
weakly. 

Everyone was happy in the idea of returning, 
and the long steep marches were as nothing to 
what they had been during the advance. Of the 
Sepoys and coolies, who were well, it might be 
said that, 

" Up the mountains sides they'd press, 
Nor with a sigh their toil confess." 

This was not the case with those unfortunates 
upon whom the hard work, long continued, had 
told severely, and who not only with sighs but 
deep groans expressed their feeling of toil, as, 
relieved from all loads, they yet crawled on with 
the greatest difficulty, each day adding to their 
number and filling the doolies with men not able 
to walk. 



CHAPTER XX. 



WITHDRAWAL OP THE TROOPS SECOND HALT DISTRIBUTION 
OF PRESENTS DARPONG'S WATCH CABULI FRUIT-SELLERS 
LUSHAI ENTERTAINMENT APPEARANCE OF THE COUNTRY 
DAK ARRANGEMENTS THE RESCUED CAPTIVES COOLIE 
ENTERTAINMENTS RETURN TO TIPAI MUKH PROFITABLE 
COMMERCE. 



309 



CHAPTER XX. 

withdrawal of the troops was conducted 
most methodically, each detachment in turn 
leaving a few men as guard, vacating its post 
two or three hours before the head-quarters 
arrived. 

At Chepui the second halt was made, and a 
great distribution of presents took place to those 
men who had hitherto accompanied us. Red 
shawls and blankets, gay carriage rugs, white 
shirts, turbans of all sorts, and strangest present 
of all, but truly British-like in its inappropriate- 
ness, aluminium crystal-backed two guinea 
watches, and a glass decanter, were given away 
to the gratified recipients. 

Darpong became the proud possessor of a watch, 
which he flourished about, applying it to the ears 
of his less fortunate friends for them to hear it 



310 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION 

tick, and showing them how the works moved. 
Alas ! two days after he had lost the key, the 
watch had stopped, and no one envied him his 
prize in the least. 

If it were necessary to give them something to 
amuse them, and at the same time point a moral, 
some of those musical toys, in which, by turning 
a handle gently, a small regiment of soldiers 
(usually three) is made to appear and disappear 
across a mimic parade-ground to the soft pleasing 
sound of a simple strain, would, no doubt, have 
delighted them. The Politicals might have 
explained to the intelligent savages that the 
soldiers were our troops ; the parade-ground, 
Lushai Country ; the motive power necessary 
to bring the Sepoys into that country the 
raiding they so often had indulged in ; and that 
the inevitable consequence of their turning the 
handle would be the re-appearance of the soldiers 
at whose departure they were then rejoicing. 

At Chepui we saw some enterprising Oabuli 
fruit-sellers who had been down as far as Kung- 
nung with their stock of raisins, pistachio nuts, 
almonds and native fruits. Purchases were 



PROCESSION AT CHEPUI. 311 

eagerly made from them, and mysterious whispers 
conveyed the invitation : 

" Come and dine, we have a plum-pudding to 
night." 

Such invitations had hitherto been so rare, that 
it was impossible to refuse them. 

The night we were at Chepui, about eight 
o'clock, as we were sitting over our camp fire dis- 
cussing the events of the day and rum and 
water, we heard strains of music, accompanying 
a wild monotonous chant, approaching the camp. 
We rose to see what it meant, and saw nearly the 
whole male population of Chepui coming up in 
procession, preceded by a few men playing drums, 
gourd instruments, and reed-pipes. At their head 
marched a staff-officer with a lantern, who had 
gone to conduct the procession past the sen- 
tries. 

The Lushais halted in an open space, and offi- 
cers, Sepoys, and Lushais formed a ring, in 
which it was intimated dancing was to take place. 
After a short song, intended to be an account of 
our doings, but whether complimentary or not 
no one possessed sufficient knowledge of the Ian- 



312 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

guage to determine, the dancing commenced. 
One man came forward, and loosing his sheet 
fastened it in -a roll round his waist, and 
placing a small corn cob on the ground to indicate 
the lady of his affections, commenced a sort of 
pas d'extase. With bent knees, and body inclined 
forwards, he kept time to the slow music by 
swaying to and fro, turning now to the right, now 
to the left, opening and closing his fingers. Oc- 
casionally this motion was varied by a few excited 
bounds backwards and forwards, and twisting 
and twirling. 

When the first dancer was tired a second took 
his place, but there was very little change in 
the character of the dance. 

The entertainment was given by the flickering 
light of a few lanterns, fixed in their owners' 
waistbelts, or placed in the ground at their feet. 
After rum had been served out with great impar- 
tiality to all the performers, and the dancers had 
begun to get excited, kicking over the lanterns, 
and covering everyone with dust, the General 
said, " Hold, enough !" and the assembly broke 
up. 



WILD-FLOWERS IN THE JUNGLES. 313 

During the inarch to Chumfai, we had been 
disappointed at meeting so few wild-flowers in 
these jungles. Violets, with little or no scent, 
had been frequently found, especially in Chumfai 
valley; but these violets, some heliotrope, cox- 
comb, and a few other common flowering weeds, 
were the only varieties of Lushai Flora we 
had discovered. 

On the return, however, our disappointment 
was turned to delight, and had we remained 
longer in the country, we should, probably, have 
been well pleased with the flowers. Even their 
wild-fruit trees were in blossom, tall trees 
covered with a large white flower like a gera- 
nium, others a blaze of scarlet blossoms ; the 
crimson rhododendrons enlivened the gloom of 
the forest ; a beautiful little green passion-flower 
hung in festoons from the trees, the convolvulus 
adorned the tangled briers, and through the long 
grass by the roadside sprang up golden fern and 
lilac flowers. 

The days were gloriously fine. Butterflies, of 
the most brilliant and varied hues, chased each 
other through the shadowy glades, and along the 



314 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

sunlit path ; while beautiful little red and yellow 
birds flitted from tree to tree, flashing through 
the sunlight like pure gold. 

Unfortunately, owing to the rapid movements 
of the troops, and to prevent any unnecessary 
alarm or disturbances no one with the head- 
quarters was allowed to shoot any birds in the 
jungle. A native Naturalist had been sent from 
Calcutta to accompany the Expedition, but he 
remained in rear, and I do not know what addi- 
tions he made to the Museum in the cause of 
science. 

We found that all the camps had been much 
improved by those who had been stationed in 
them. Commodious and well-built huts, small 
mess-rooms, slight stockades, and well-cleared 
spaces all round, made them hardly recognisable 
as the little leafy shed-covered spots which we 
used to come upon suddenly out of the jungle. 

At one of the camps, a quantity of empty ghi 
casks were thrown into the fires as the troops 
were about to march. Having been well satu- 
rated with their greasy contents, they blazed up 
merrily, the iron hoops falling off into the flames 



JOOMING OPERATIONS. 315 

and exciting the cupidity of the Lushais, who, 
as usual, had collected to pick up anything the 
troops left behind them. 

At first they tried to snatch out the hoops, 
but getting their clothes singed in the attempt, 
they retired to the jungle, and flinging every- 
thing off, armed themselves with long sticks, 
and rushed down upon the fires again; and as 
the rear-guard marched off, they saw the Lushais 
dancing and gesticulating like demons round the 
flames, red hot hoops being whisked out in all 
directions. 

Our return was the signal for the commence- 
ment of jooming operations, the fires following 
us closely. Looking back each day, we could 
see their smoke rising up from the hill-sides, even 
to the camps we had left only that morning. 

All the country for miles around was misty 
with joom smoke, and the increasing haze of the 
weather told of the approaching heat and rains. 
The view from each of our elevated camps was 
far less extensive than formerly, and many of the 
distant ranges had disappeared altogether. 

On the journey back, at first, we used to get our 



316 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

letters two and sometimes three times a day ; not 
less than the number of deliveries in a well-con- 
ducted town in England. The reason of this was 
that each day we advanced a stage in the direc- 
tion whence the letters' were coining ; so that we 
received letters before starting, and then reaching 
the following stage found the next dak returning. 

Here I must express my admiration for the 
dak arrangements made by Colonel Roberts, and 
carried out under his orders by the police with 
wonderful regularity. Not a day passed without 
despatching the dak, and scarcely a day without 
receiving the letters and papers, though they 
arrived sometimes in the middle of the night, 
much to the dissatisfaction of some drowsy souls, 
who preferred sleeping to any number of com- 
munications from friends. 

A few souvenirs were brought away by the 
officers and men, such as skin shields, spears, 
musical instruments, &c., but the greatest curio- 
sities of all which we brought back were the old 
captives who had been given up. 

We had a large and increasing following of cap- 
tives as we returned. Many of them were young 



OLD CAPTIVES RESCUED. 317 

people with their families, but among them were 
a few aged ladies and gentlemen, who were 
wonderfully old, and utterly incapable of walking. 
These were therefore carried on coolies' backs. 
The old things knelt in a sling which passed 
across the coolies' foreheads, and clung to his 
shoulders. This mode of travelling must have 
been very tiring in a long day's march. 

When put down during a halt, they at once 
went to sleep, and seemed utterly apathetic as to 
their fate. A return to their native villages must 
have been for them the awaking of Rip Van 
Winkle ; they would find young people become 
old, and all their former intimates dead or un- 
mindful of them ; and probably, if they had not 
been in the imbecility of extreme old age, would 
sooner have remained with their captors, who must 
have treated them with some consideration or 
kindness. 

I made a sketch of one of these old people, but 
could arrive at no conclusion as to the age or sex, 
and my questioning elicited no response what- 
ever from the shrivelled mummy. There was an 
expression of coarseness, and the reflection of far 



318 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

off sadness, as it were, visible in the countenance 
of the poor old thing, and one was filled with 
pity to think that it had still to be carried over a 
hundred miles, to find probably at the end no one 
to care for it or look after it, till welcome death 
should at last arrive. 

Our coolies, who were Cossyahs, were very 
much pleased at the idea of returning home, and 
used occasionally in the evening to get up small 
entertainments of singing, whistling, and dancing 
round a fire. One, a little boy, used to arrange 
his dress like a woman's, and give imitations of 
Hindustani and Cossyah nautches to the accom- 
paniment of an imaginary tom-tom. Their friends 
meanwhile looked on with an absence of any ap- 
parent approval, and a persistent gravity which 
could not have been surpassed by the most fashion- 
able audiences at home, when viewing an amateur 
performance by their most enthusiastic friends. 

Leeches, ticks, mosquitoes, sand-flies, and 
other abominations which we had been so freely 
promised by some sanguine friends before we 
started on the Expedition, but from which we 
had hitherto been free, began to annoy us very 



PROFITABLE BUSINESS. 319 

much on the return, and we were not sorry to get 
back once more to Tipai Mukh, where the whole 
force arrived on the 6th or 7th March. 

The detachments from the nearer stations had 
gone on to Cachar on rafts or in boats as they 
arrived at Tipai Mukh, and the rest were em- 
ployed in constructing rafts. 

It had originally been intended that the troops 
should march, but owing to the heat, and the fact 
that cholera had once more appeared among the 
men at Tipai Mukh, the water-route seemed to be 
the best. 

A large number of Lushais had accompanied us 
as far as Tipai Mukh, and were busily employed 
in driving a few last bargains. They brought 
down large quantites of India-rubber, which they 
exchanged eagerly for salt, equal weights, and as 
the value of the rubber was more than four times 
that of the salt, any individuals who could com- 
mand a large supply of the latter had an excellent 
opportunity of doing a little profitable business. 

By the 10th of March, in accordance with the 
orders of the Government before quoted, all the 
troops and coolies had bidden farewell to Tipai 



320 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Mukh ; and the Tuivai itself, flowing past ruined 
huts and deserted godowns, once more greeted 
the Barak with its ceaseless babble, undisturbed 
by the cries of coolies and the trumpeting of 
elephants, while the surrounding jungles relapsed 
into their former silence, resounding no* more to 
the blows of the invaders' axes. 

The rapids on the Barak, at this season of the 
year, were very shallow, and great excitement and 
amusement were afforded to the Sepoys by the 
trouble and hairbreadth escapes they met with 
in managing, or rather in trying to manage, their 
rafts, and steering them clear of sunken rocks and 
tree trunks. 

This mode of travelling was entirely new to 
many of them, and their efforts were not always 
successful, as evinced by the ever-increasing pile 
of broken rafts at most of the difficult passages. 



CHAPTER XXI. 



HARDSHIPS OF THE CAMPAIGN DEATH OF TWO OFFICERS 
INDISPOSITION OF THE GENERAL RAVAGES OF CHOLERA 
THE MUNIPITR CONTINGENT CONFERENCE PRECAUTIONS 
AGAINST TREACHERY SEIZURE OF CHIEFS FALSE PRE- 
DICTIONORDER TO THE TROOPS CONCLUDING REMARKS. 



323 



CHAPTER XXI. 

f AM sorry to have to record two deaths 
among the officers, in consequence of the 
hardships of this campaign. One was Captain 
Harrison of the 42nd N.I., who was about to pro- 
ceed to England on sick leave when the Expedition 
was determined on, and who immediately got his 
leave cancelled in order to go with his regiment. 
He was very ill at Tipai Mukh, at Christmas, 
and the uuhealthiness of the camp, which tried 
many stronger constitutions, proved too much 
for him, and he was ordered by the medical 
authorities to proceed to England, via Calcutta, 
as quickly as possible. 

This was in February. He arrived in Cachar, 
and was allowed by the doctor there to continue 
his journey in the country boats. He was utterly 

Y 2 ' 



324 THE LCSHAI EXPEDITION. 

unfit to go alone, and when his boatmen went 
to inform him that they had arrived at Chuttack, 
they found him lying dead. His sad fate was 
deeply regretted by his brother officers, by whom 
he was deservedly very much liked. 

The second was that of Captain Cookesley, 
R.A., whose name has been mentioned several 
times in the course of this narrative. A good 
photographer, he was attached to the half-battery 
which accompanied the column, partly in that 
capacity, being allowed extra carriage for his 
apparatus. He was apparently in tolerable health 
at Cachar, and went on with his battery as far 
as Sylhet, where he was obliged to go on shore, 
and was so ill as to be left there when the others 
continued the onward journey. 

By the advice of the doctors he started to go 
to Shillong, the nearest hill-station to Sylhet. 
He arrived at Cherrapoonji, the first halting 
place from the plains, and, whether the change 
of temperature was too sudden, or nature at 
length gave way, I know not, but on the 31st 
March he expired at that place, shortly after his 
arrival, from abscess in the liver. A good officer, 



SCENERY OF THE COUNTRY. 325 

a genial companion, a clever writer, and a warm 
friend, his loss was mourned by all who had ever 
known him. 

The General himself suffered severely at the 
close of the Expedition. The state of his health, 
between Tipai Mukh and Shillong, was such as 
to cause grave anxiety to the medical officers 
who accompanied him. 

The bracing air of that fine hill station, a re- 
turn to civilised dwellings, and, above all, good 
and nourishing food, however, happily soon re- 
stored him to his wonted health. 

Several of the Staff, also, were very much 
pulled down, and did not get over the effects of 
hard work and hard fare for some time. 

The scenery, both on the river and by road, 
between Tipai Mukh and Oachar, was very fine; 
the autumnal-like tints of the foliage in the dense 
jungle, at this season, were most varied and 
beautiful; orchids and other wild-flowers abound- 
ed, and the forest was sweet with their many- 
scented blossoms. 

But an invisible foe haunted these fair scenes 
and cholera, that fatal pestilence, stalked along 



326 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

the river, or lurked in the jungle, eager for his 
prey, striking down the Sepoys joyously looking 
forward to a speedy meeting with friends, but 
numbering most of its victims among the poor 
coolies, well nigh worn out with their four months 
continuous hard work. The poor fellows died 
alike on. the river, in boats or on rafts ; by the 
road-side and on the hill-tops, falling before a 
more dread enemy than any we had to encounter 
in Lushai land. 

Nor were they free when they had left Cachar. 
The 22nd were pursued by it on their way up 
country, leaving men even in the train, and the 
44th N.I. lost many men on the march before 
reaching Shillong. 

The 42nd also suffered very severely. But 
among the sad consequences of the return march, 
was the introduction of this fell disease into tea- 
gardens and villages near the river or road, by 
the troops and coolies passing through. The 
seeds of the disease were left as a legacy among 
the Lushais, and, if we may believe reports, 
cholera has been busy among them since we 
left. 



OF VILLAGES TO MUNIPUR. 327 

Hill-men dread the invasion of foreigners, more 
on this account perhaps than any other I mean 
the introduction of strange diseases. Small-pox 
and other diseases have from time to time been 
spread among them by traders, though the 
Northern Lushais, with whom we had to do, had, 
hitherto, enjoyed apparent immunity from the 
consequences of intercourse with strangers, as, out 
of the many who visited our camps, we only saw 
one man at all marked with small-pox. 

Before bringing this narrative to a close, we 
must just see what the Munipur Contingent had 
been doing, especially as their last exploit was a 
very peculiar one. 

After the 25th of January, entire villages see- 
ing the way things were going with the Lushais, 
and taking advantage of the presence of the con- 
tingent at Chepui, deserted to Munipur ; others 
went to Kamhow, Sukpilal, and the Pois ; but of 
those who went to Munipur, we have the actual 
numbers, which are as follows : 

On the 1 3th February, three hundred and 
seventy-three Sokte*s, with twenty-eight muskets, 



328 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

arrived in Munipur, and on the 14th and 18th 
three hundred and ninety-two Sadoes and other 
Kookies. 

I have mentioned that General Nuthall had been 
obliged to retire from Chibu, on account of sick- 
ness, &c. He had, however, returned there, to- 
wards the end of February, having received sup- 
plies, and left the sick in a place of safety. 
General Bourchier telegraphed to him on the with- 
drawal of the force from the Lushai territory, 
and General Nuthall commenced to return from 
Chibu on the 6th March. 

On the 7th inst., he himself had gone ahead, 
as the Contingent always marched late, after cook- 
ing and eating. Before the latter left camp, a 
large body of men, of whom about a hundred were 
armed with muskets, appeared suddenly from the 
West. 

Many captives, as before stated, having gone over 
to the Munipur contingent during the advance of 
the Left column, the Munipur Majors in command 
thought, or said they thought, that these were also 
refugees come to seek their protection. A Kookie 
chief who was in their camp, however, told them 



CONFERENCE WITH SOKTfiS. 329 

that the armed men belonged to Kamhow's people, 
and recognised among them a Chieftain of that 
tribe. The Majors sent orders to their Sepoys to 
load quietly and be on the alert ; they then ad- 
mitted the Soktes into the camp, taking up a 
central position, and- a conference ensued. 

During this conference the Sepoys closed round 
and got behind each armed man in groups of 
three. The Majors asked the Sokte chiefs where 
they had been, and whither they were going. 
They replied that they had been on a friendly 
visit to a village in the Lushai territory, the in- 
habitants of which, nine hundred and sixty-two in 
number, were returning with them, being desirous 
of joining Kamhow's tribe. 

The Majors told them that they must go to 
General Nuthall to explain their conduct to him, 
but this they refused to do, as the camp ahead was 
too far out of their way. The former then ap- 
parently gave up this point and engaged the 
chiefs in friendly conversation, and under pre- 
tence of trying the different muskets, handed the 
chiefs one of theirs to fire off, discharging those 
of the latter in exchange. 



330 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

The chiefs being thus defenceless, the Majors 
had them seized, whereupon, one of them giving 
a whistle, his men stood to their arms, but after 
a short struggle were overpowered. Fifty-six 
men were taken prisoners, and fifty-two muskets 
were seized ; four of the Munipuris were wounded 
in the struggle. 

The Sokte prisoners and the villagers were all 
taken into Munipur, and the Rajah intended to 
settle them in the valley south of Moirang. The 
Soktes were placed in jail in irons till their families 
should arrive, when the Rajah's intention was to 
release them and settle them in the hills north- 
east of the valley. 

General Nuthall said, " The Rajah seemed con- 
fident of reconciling them, and anticipated obtain- 
ing much useful service from them in the eveut 
of future strife with Kamhow's tribe. The loss of 
so many arms to that tribe will tend to break its 
power, and restrain its preying upon the Lushais 
at this time of its weakness." 

This latter prediction of the General's was a 
very mistaken one, if we may believe a late news- 
paper paragraph, which states that the Soktes 



REPORTED DEFEAT OF LALBOORA. 331 

again attacked Chonchim after our departure, 
and Lalboora, being deserted by many of his ad- 
herents, was signally defeated by the Soktes who 
are now settled in the Chumfai valley. 

I have been unable to find out what truth there 
is in this report, but if the case is so, it is just 
what General Bouchier and Mr. Edgar did not 
wish to happen, and which by their policy they 
did what that they could to prevent ; as it is, as 
I have pointed out in a very early part of this book, 
by no means in the interests of the peace of our 
frontier, that a tribe, who have submitted to us, 
and with whom we were likely to establish friendly 
relations, should be overthrown by a more distant 
and formidable foe. 

We have heard the Munipur version of the 
exploit just related; let us see what has been 
said on the other side. 

It will be remembered that Yonolel had settled 
many Sokte prisoners in his villages during his 
lifetime. These Soktes, at the time of the Ex- 
pedition, were very anxious to return to their own 
country, but they were afraid that, if they at- 
tempted to escape, the Lushais might fall on 



332 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

them and kill their women and children before they 
could get safely across into Kamhow's country. 
Many of them had taken advantage of our ad- 
vance to escape either to Kamhow, General 
Nuthall, or our camps. 

On the return march, Mr. Edgar heard that a 
hundred armed men from Kamhow's villages had 
gone to some of the south-eastern Lushai villages, 
for the purpose of escorting the Soktes who 
wished to leave. 

Darpong afterwards confirmed this intelligence, 
and stated further that nearly a thousand Sokte*s 
had gone off under the protection of this party, 
taking with them all their property, and that 
these were the people who appeared in the 
Munipur camp. 

There seems no doubt that the armed Soktes 
did not go in with the intention of attacking the 
Munipur de*pot. This appears to be evident from 
the fact of their small number, and the absence of 
any attempt on their part at a surprise. On the 
contrary, they went in apparently in full reliance 
on the friendliness of the Munipuris, the chiefs 
allowing their weapons to be discharged by the 
Majors without any suspicion of bad faith. 



THE MUNIPUR ARMY. 333 

Mr. Edgar, says, " The charge of wishing to 
attack the camp was probably afterwards in- 
vented by the Majors to excuse their own conduct. 
It is evident that the latter could not resist the 
temptation of getting possession of the refugees, 
for the Munipuris are even more eager than the 
hill-chiefs themselves to get hold of Kookie and 
Naga subjects." 

Major McCulloch, many years ago writing of the 
Munipur Army, said that the number, three thou- 
sand six hundred (including officers), could not be 
kept up in an efficient state, and, as I have before 
said, it is not attempted. The services therefore 
of the Munipur troops in an emergency would be 
of no use. The inefficiency of this force has not 
escaped the British Government. Schemes for its 
improvement have been entertained, but as the 
pressure of circumstances which suggested the 
necessity of these schemes ceased, they have been 
discarded 

I do not know if the performance of the 
Munipur contingent in the late campaign will 
cause the gallant Colonel to modify in any degree 
this unfavourable opinion. 



334 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

On arriving in Cachar, General Bourchier issued 
the folio wing Field Force Order to the troops who. 
having been together for four months, were about 
to separate and disperse again to various parts 
of India the Artillery to Abbobabad, Sappers 
to Roorkee, 22nd N. I. to Chelam, and the 42nd 
and 44th L. I. to Assam. 

(Gazette of India, May 4) 

Field Force Order by Brigadier-General G. Bourchier, C.B., 
Commanding Cachar Column, Lushai Expeditionary Force 
(No. 65, dated Cachar, the IVth March, 1872,) 

1. On the breaking up of the Cachar Column, Lushai Expedi- 
tionary Force, the Brigadier- General Commanding feels deep 
pride in the reflection that he has received the congratulations of 
the late Viceroy, of the Governments of India and Bengal, and 
of His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief, on its services. 

2. The Brigadier-General does not presume to offer an opinion 
as to whether the success of the column has equalled the expecta- 
tions of the Government, but he has unfeigned pleasure in record- 
ing his belief that its discipline, energy, and devotion to the service 
could not have been surpassed. 

3. From the beginning of November, when the troops were first 
put in motion, to the present time, every man has been employed 
in hard work, cheerfully performed, often under the most trying 
circumstances of heat and frost, always bivouacking on the moun- 
tain side, in rude huts of grass or leaves, officers and men sharing 
the same accommodation, marching day by day over precipitous 
mountains, rising at one time to six thousand feet, and having made 
a road fit for elephants from Luckipur to Chipowee, a distance 
of one hundred and three miles. The spirits of the troops never 



FIELD FORCE ORDER. 335 

flagged, and when they met the enemy, they drove them from 
their stockades and strongholds until they were glad to sue for 
mercy. 

4. The history of the Expedition from first to last has been 
sheer hard work. 

5. On the advance wings of the 22nd Eegiment, Native Infantry, 
under Colonel Stafford, the 42nd Eegiment, Native Infantry, under 
Colonel Eattray, C.S.I., and the 44th Eegiment, Native Infantry, 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Nuthall, the hardest work has fallen. 
Each has shared in the actual fighting, the 44th more than either 
of the other corps, but to the officers in the rear most important 
duties were assigned in protecting a line of communication ex- 
tending over one hundred and ten miles from Tipai Mukh to 
Volonel's stronghold of Chamfai, and watching through spies the 
attitude of the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages, convey- 
ing provisions and the post, and keeping the road constantly 
patrolled. The Frontier Police did equally good service with the 
troops in this way. Each field-officer in the rear had assigned 
to him a certain number of posts for which he was responsible, 
and to their vigilance may be attributed the fact that our com- 
munications have not for a day been interrupted. 

6. Young officers may especially feel glad at having had such 
an opportunity of gaining experience in mountain warfare. 

7. Before taking leave of the Column, the Brigadier-General 
would tender his heartfelt thanks to the officers, civil and military, 
non-commissioned officers and soldiers, who, for so many weeks, 
have co-operated with him, and to whom he feels he is entirely 
indebted for any success which may have attended the operations. 
He will have much pleasure in bringing their conduct, and that 
of the officers of the several departments, civil and military, 
with the Column, to the notice of His Excellency the Commander- 
in-Chief, for submission to the Government of India. 

By Order, (Signed) H. THOMSON, 

Captain Brigade-Major. 



336 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Notwithstanding the outcry raised both in 
Lushai and at home concerning the large scale on 
which the Expedition was conducted, and the 
loudly expressed remarks of those who know no- 
thing about the subject, that a native regi- 
ment going in with a rush would effect all that 
was desired, we have seen that, after deducting 
the guards necessary at the various stations to 
keep open communications, only a force of four 
hundred men were available for the final advance 
on Chumfai, not by any means too many, suppos- 
ing the Lushais had made a stand at Tulcheng, 
which it was not at all certain on leaving Chelam 
that they would not do. 

The Expedition was carefully organised, and the 
steadiness and deliberation of the advance has 
probably had a greater effect on the Lushai mind 
than any sudden dash through a small portion of 
their hills could possibly have had, however suc- 
cessful it might have been in its immediate results. 

As was the case in the Abyssinian Ex- 
pedition, the prophesiers of evil were very 
numerous ; fever, bronchitis, leeches, ticks, mos- 
quitoes were among some of the many evils which 



FALSE PROPHECIES. 337 

would overtake us. The country was full of deep 
ravines whence escape was impossible, into which 
treacherous Lushais were to guide us, till suddenly 
an avalanche of rocks, loosened by our enemies 
from above, should annihilate the force; our 
coolies were to be destroyed along the line of 
communications, and any small detached parties 
would inevitably be cut off. 

All these, and many more prophecies with 
which the Indian papers abounded, and which 
our friends who were not going with us repeated 
with infinite though suppressed delight, proved 
entirely false, and for my part I know I can 
answer for many others. I should not at all dis- 
like another visit to that very fine country, alwaj^s 
pre-supposing that I might make my own com- 
missariat arrangements. 

What the ultimate results may be of this last 
Expedition it is impossible at present to foretell. 
A road-making expedition has been sanctioned 
for the next cold weather, but the details as to 
the troops who will compose it, and the direction 
the road will take, are not generally known. 

It is proposed to take the road through from 



338 THE LUSHAI EXPEDITION. 

Cachar to Chittagong, by doing which, and also 
by establishing a force at Tipai Mukh, it is hoped 
to secure the objects of the Expedition by culti- 
vating friendly relations with the Hill-men, and, 
by opening up for them communications with 
the plains, to give them an incentive to trade; 
at the same time that, should future punishment 
be necessary, we shall have an easy access into 
their country. 



TIIK END. 



London : Printed by A. Selmlzc, 13, Poland Street. 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY 

This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

Fine schedule: 25 cents on first day overdue 

50 cents on fourth day overdue 
One dollar on seventh day overdue. 



10 1947 



:'D tn 

JUL 9'65- 



3.FM 



411129197049 



REC'D LD JUL 



LD 21-100m-12,'46(A2012sl6)4120 






570-6PM24 






ru OOOO7 




UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY