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January 6th. Having received an injury in my feet from the previous day's march, I took a boat from Somboogong to the next march, Patpoah, a tolerable village belonging to Toolaram Sanaputtee, situated on the east side of the river. Starting at 9 A. M. the Sepoys reached the halting place at about 3 P. M. having been fatigued by passing several tolerable sized hills; they told me the path was a good one, and they passed a large village of Mikeers called Hempree, the cultivation of which I saw on the river side. This day's journey was through Toolaram Sanaputtee's country.
The rapids or Silbatahs the natives spoke so much of to deter me from going by water, I found only to be of stones piled up for the purpose of fishing and deepening the water to enable the boats laden with cotton (some of which I saw on their way down) to pass the more easily, in other places there is abundance of water. The banks of the river are high, and at most places formed by low hills and some steep rocks; the distance by water is about fifteen miles, and by land eight or ten.
The elephants which had taken the route formerly traversed by Captain Jenkins, which we left two or three miles below Somboogong, joined us here.
January 7th. Starting from Patpoah at 9 A.M., we passed over some cotton grounds, and gradually ascended a range of hills running north and south, and after continuing along the summit of the ridge till 2 P. M., we descended by rather a steep path to the Langti river where, on account of the elephants not having come up, we were obliged to halt for the day; the road throughout was good, through bamboo forest.
The Langti is a rapid clear stream, of about thirty yards width, knee-deep in the cold weather with a pebbly bottom.
January 8th. At 7° 45' A. M. left the Langti river, and ascended a rather steep hill, and an hour afterwards left Captain Jenkins' road which we had met at Patpoah, and took a more easterly direction to Aloogong, crossing the Dyung at a Silbatah, or weir, where the water rushed with a good deal of velocity. The distance to-day was only about five miles ; but our next march being a long one, I was unable to go on further without distressing the men, as we should have found it difficult to have reached Chota-Semker in one day from the Langti river, and no other village or watering place was available. Boats come up to Aloogong during the cold season, though they experience much difficulty at the Barrak ford from the rocks in the river, the boats requiring to be unladen and forced up empty.
The road continued good to Aloogong through bamboo and tree forests. Aloogong consists of about twenty or thirty houses of Cacharees.
January 9th. Left Aloogong at 9 A. M. and ascended a ridge of hills running east-south-east ; traversed them till they divided into two ridges, when taking the one to the right, in a south-west direction, reached the site of a Cacharee village, which had the appearance of having been burnt; from thence, by an undulating path, we came to a hill of good size at 12 P. M. and in about an hour afterwards reached Chota-Semker, which lay on our right, about 500 yards. It consists of about fifteen or twenty houses of Cacharees and Nagas ; the latter had on account of some feuds left Bura-Semker, which is about two days march eastward. We halted about two miles beyond the village on a small stream ; the elephants did not come up till late ; the path throughout was good.
January 10th. Sending the elephants back from this place we set out at 8° 15' A. M. and crossing a small stream called Delasapanee,
a wavy path till 10 A. M. when we descended to the bed of the Dyung, where we met the Mohurir of the Tossildar of the Cachar Hills. From this our course was about south-south-east and south up the bed of the river, the repeated crossing of which rendered the marching both painful and dangerous, from the difficulty of keeping one's footing over the round slippery stones with which the river in every part abounds. At l P. M. we halted a short way beyond the village of Joori, which is a good sized one, and is inhabited by Cacharees and Kookees; it is on the left bank of the river. The road to-day was not so good, the latter part of it being in the course of the river.
January 11th. Started from Joorigong at 8 A. M. our route being the same as the latter part of the previous day-up the bed of the river, and the same difficulties were again experienced, which prevented our reaching the stockade under Goomegogoo till 12 P. M., though the distance is not more than five miles. , I found the Shans in the stockade, who had arrived two days previous. Toolaram Sanaputtee had accompanied them. I requested him to send some person of his to Semker to prepare habitations and provisions, but he immediately offered to go himself if I gave him a guard, I therefore detached a Naick and ten Shans to accompany him. Finding that the Thannadar, who had only lately arrived, could give me but little information regarding the incursions of the Angamee Nagas, and finding no instructions waiting my arrival, I resolved, as Captain Burns's head quarters were only four days' journey off, to proceed to Silchar at once, to consult with that officer on the plan of future operations. This journey I commenced on the 13th January, taking with me a guard of one Naick and four Sepoys. Leaving the stockade at 9 a. M. we reached the Naga
village Mysumpa at 10 A. M., passing through which I reached the original site of the Thannah of Hoflong, close to the above village, which had been a short time before removed to its present location, Goomegogoo, to protect from the Angamees the large Naga village of that name, four persons of which had been killed some time previous by them. Beyond the old site of the Thannah of Hoflong is the hill called by the Cacharees and Nagas Honklong, which by corruption has become Hoflong; passing over it the road descends to the bed of the Pytinga, a small river here flowing towards the south-west. Down its rocky bed we continued till we reached the Cacharee village of Poorah, on the left bank of the river, consisting of about twenty or twenty-five houses. The first part of the road was good, but became bad on entering the river.
January 14th. Leaving Poorahgong at 7° 45' A. M. we set out down the bed of the river as on the 13th till 9° 20' A. M., when we reached the Hagoosa-Deesa, a small stream running from its source at the summit of the Bura-Ail range in two branches, one falling north and one south. We quitted the Pytinga, and ascended by a very steep path the Bura-Ail range of hills; from the summit, which we reached at 10° 30' A. M. we descended by an easy path to the south side, and found two streams joining at the base, the Hagoosa-Deesa coming from the west, and the Mati-Deesa from the east. The great range is chiefly covered with large trees and light underwood ; amongst the former I recognised the Nageser tree, of tolerable inagnitude; I saw no bamboos on the higher ranges. Proceeding a short distance we encountered the Matura-Deesa, which flows from the eastward. Rising in the great range, the Mati-Deesa empties itself into the Matura here. down the bed of the Matura some short way, and then followed a bad path frequently up by water courses. At 12° 50' P. M. crossed a small mountain torrent called Ballon-Deesa, which runs over a bed of solid rock; at 3 P. M. reached the Goonmara-Deesa (Deesa signifies a small river in the Cacharee language) which is the only convenient halting place between the foot of the great range and the plains ; we encamped here.
January 15th. Started at 7° 30' A. M. and about a couple of hours afterwards passed the Cacharee village of Longerong, which remained on our right on a ridge of hills separated from those we were traversing by the Dhesema river, which flows into the Matura after receiving the Goonmara river.
At 10° 25' ascended to the summit of the last elevated hill of the ridge, from whence a very fine prospect is enjoyed of the extensive level of the entire Cachar plain, with its numerous hamlets and sheets of rice cultivation.
The road from hence to the
lower hills was steep. Having descended to them we passed through patches of deserted cultivations of the wandering Cacharees. At 2 P. M. crossed the Hogigugaw river a short way above its junction with the Kuttna, which river terminates in the Matura. At 3 P. M. we passed through the large Cacharee village of Guabari, and here saw evi. dent signs of improvement in the condition of the country. After crossing fine sheets of rice lands belonging to several villages of Bengallis and Muneeporees we arrived at the Bengallí village of Bhogurkonah and encamped. The fields of rice here appeared fine, but the ryots seemed to be less particular in the comfort of their Khatts, or farms, than the Assamese. They lived in fewer houses, which however were larger than those in Assam.
The absence of the useful and ornamental jack, tamool, and moon. gah trees made the appearance less rural and comfortable than the generality of the Assam farms.
January 16th. At 8° 30 A. M. crossed the Tecul or Degul river, and passing another swampy nullah, and some jungle, reached a cluster of low hills covered with small bamboos (Bagul Bans) over which we passed, and came to another sheet of rice land attached to some widely scattered Muneeporee hamlets.
The road was now south-south-west over the rice fields, till we reached the village of Oodarbund, on the right bank of the Matura river, a place of considerable importance, being the entrepôt to which the Cachar Nagas take down their cotton to barter it for salt, dried fish, conch shell, beads, &c. and I heard also for slaves, who are stolen from the weaker Naga villages ; an infamous trade of this kind seems carried on in the hills of Cachar. The Nagas are particularly fond of the conch shells, which they cut up for neck ornaments, and which are valued at one rupee per shell. From Oodarbund we went across a fine plain of rice stubble to Mennabund, and then passed through a strip of jungle and recrossed the Matura ; from this our road lay across rice fields of about a league in extent; we then ferried over the Barak river opposite Silchar, which we reached at 3 P. M. The Barak is a considerable river, evidently, from the broken state of its banks, liable to a very great rise of water in the rains.
January 17th. Captain Burns, who was absent on my arrival, returned this morning, and availing myself of his kindness, I remained till the 19th, and obtained much valuable information and assist. ance from him with regard to my future plans, &c. I recommended that the expedition should start immediately against the Angamees (who were supposed to be located a short way beyond Semker) with the party I had brought over from Assam, as great delay had occurred in the arrival of arms for the levy, and there was no certainty when they might come, and as the season was fast approaching when troops would be of little service in mountains, like those inhabited by the Angamees. All the arms in Silchar were therefore put under repair, and about thirty muskets with bayonets, furnished weapons to an equal number of the levy, who, under a Jemadar, accompanied me back.
On the 19th I retraced my route of the 16th to Bhogurkonah, where we halted. The next day, the 20th, I followed my former route to Guabari, where the Bengallí coolies were to be relieved by Cacharees. The inhabitants of the village being all away on our arrival a great delay occurred, which obliged me to alter my course and make a circuit to Agoosagong to get good encamping ground, where we remained that day. The village consists of about fifteen or twenty houses inhabited by Cacharees, who cultivate the lower hills under the great range bordering the Cachar plain.
January 21st. Started from A goosagong at 8 A. m., and ascended a high ridge adjoining the one we came by, and shortly afterwards regained the old road, along which we continued till we reached the Matura river, where we encamped. This route, I fancy, is impassable in the rainy season, as it is frequently up the bed of the river. good one, however, might easily be made with little trouble, either at the foot of the hills or on their summits.
January 22d. Left at 8 a. M. and ascended the Bura-Ail range half an hour afterwards, by a good path ; we reached the top in forty minutes, from whence we quitted our former route from Poorahgong and con. tinued along the summit of the great range by a very good path, leaving Poorahgong on our right, and in the valley beneath. We fol. lowed this route about an hour, and then by a long and pretty steep descent crossed the Goomara-Deesa, and shortly afterwards the Longkli. Deesa, both flowing from the great range into the Pytinga, parallel to which we were going. We then entered the bed of the latter river, and followed our former route over the Haflong hill to the stockade.
January 23d. Some provisions that had been left behind the previous day arrived.
January 24th. I visited the Goomegogoo Thannah on an height of about 5000 or 6000 feet elevation, and took some bearings of peaks, sources of rivers, and situations of villages in sight. I sent on the Shan detachment this day with grain to Semker to relieve the coolies, and enable them to return and carry more grain with the Sebundy detachment. Whilst here, I got in several villagers upon whose villages some of the attacks had been made, and took down their depositions. The people