1800: The Ho Rebellion in Singhbhum (Part-II)

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As usual the Hos made show off resistance at the outset, but remained hanging cautiously on the heart of their country till it reached the Roro river near Chaibasa.
Then with all their old dash and courage, they began hostilities, firstly with arrows and then with battle-axes. A small party of them rashly attacked the band of camp followers in the full sight of the main force. A troop of cavalry hastily went out to avenge this insult and succeeded in intercepting there, the treat of the Hos towards their mountain fastness.
A race between Hos and the cavalry started but in this, cut off by the cavalry the Hos turned and nothing daunted them to face the enemy. How valiant the sight could have been, the rush of ill-armed impetuous Hos against the disciplined charge of the cavalry. It was a courageous but hopeless attempt in terms of military sense. As the attacking force came on, the Hos discharged the volley of their arrows, but finding that it had made little impression on the advancing rank of the army they threw aside the bows and arrows and rushed to meet the charge of the cavalry with battle-axe in hand.
But before a superior force the Hos had to face defeat and hitherto the proud and always victorious Hos race suffered its heaviest defeat, perhaps the thus far invincible Hos learnt a bitter lesson from their defeat. This encounter was only the first of many such.
Time after time they flung themselves with disastrous consequences. It took them long to realize the old rash onset lead them no longer to victory but death. At last the heavily armed British army with their entire modern weapons were able to scatter the Hos tribe, then they drove back Hos and finally they were able to force many Hos to surrender.
But the Southern Hos had still remained unconquered. The British authorities appointed Major Roughsedge, who had to set on a very difficult journey through the hostile region of Ho tribes. The thick jungle had no pucca-roads to connect one village to another one and / or one hill-range after another hill-range had to be crossed by the British armies to deal with the hostile Hos. Meanwhile the Hos were ever ready to seize the opportunity to launch surprise attack on the advancing British army.
The scattered and too impregnable Kolhan region proved too big a task for the invading British force. They could not really score a complete victory in the Kolhan region. However they were able to create a feeling of the superiority of military power of the British in the reason. But as soon as the British army left the country than the Hos’ old local feuds with their Rajas again broke out.
The British army was again dispatched to the Kolhan region to quell another fresh round of regular anarchy that had disturbed the region for quite some time. 
Finally Hos relented and asked the British rulers to bring the Kolhan region directly under the government control and not to be made subject again to the local rajas; the British authorities rejected the said proposal. No sooner had the British troops withdraw that anarchy once again began. This rebellious-anarchy could only be finally curbed at the time of Great Kol Rising of 1831.

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