Tag: History of Alabama 1540

In 1540, Hernando de Soto and his men became the first Europeans to traverse Alabama’s interior, bringing death and destruction to several Native American towns on his route. 

de Soto was led into Mauvila (or Mabila), a fortified city in southern Alabama. The Mobilian tribe, under chief Tuskaloosa, ambushed de Soto’s army. Other sources suggest de Soto’s men were attacked after attempting to force their way into a cabin occupied by Tuskaloosa. The Spaniards fought their way out, and retaliated by burning the town to the ground. During the nine-hour encounter, about 200 Spaniards died, and 150 more were badly wounded, according to the chronicler Elvas. Twenty more died during the next few weeks. They killed an estimated 2,000-6,000 warriors at Mabila, making the battle one of the bloodiest in recorded North American history.

Source: Wikipedia contributors, “Hernando de Soto,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,

Map: 1718 Map of Gulf Coast Region

Original is possession of Chicago’s Historical Society. Shows De Soto’s wanderings in 1540, La Salle’s landing, his journey to the interior, and the place of his death; Tonti’s journey to the Chickasaws, the old forts at Biloxi, on Mobile Bay, and on the Mississippi River below New Orleans, route of Bienville from Tensas village to Red River.

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