Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/23

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rushed upon their opponents, indiscriminately slaughtering them without regard to age or sex. The Spanish accounts tell us this battle lasted nine hours; that 11,000 Indians were slain, while the Spaniards lost 81 killed and nearly every Spanish warrior was wounded. The killed included Rodriguez, a noble Portuguese of high rank, and two nephews of De Soto—Diego De Soto and Don Carlos Enriquez. Many of the Spanish horses were killed and much of their provisions, clothing and stores of various description were destroyed. The desperate condition of the Spaniards in a hostile wilderness, many of them seriously wounded and with scanty supplies, was more than counterbalanced by the terror which their prodigies of valor had aroused in the savages. This conflict, one of the most severe in the history of that character of warfare, was very near the site of Fort Mims, where, on August 30, 1813, 273 years afterward, the Creek warrior, Weatherford, with 1,000 savage followers, attacked, and during a five hours' conflict slaughtered 531 men, women and children, including white soldiers, friendly Indians and negroes.

The original plan of De Soto was to rejoin his ships in Pensacola bay, but fearing that many of his followers would refuse to remain with him for further exploration he turned toward the northwest, passing through the country that now forms the counties of Clarke, Marengo, Greene and Pickens. During the journey he had many conflicts with the Indians, encountering a large force on the Black Warrior with which he had a very serious engagement. He then turned into the Indian village of Chickasaw, near the site of the modern city of Columbus, Miss. De Soto and his followers had occupied five months in passing through what is now the State of Alabama. They were met on the eastern border with the most hospitable and kindly treatment, which they returned with treachery, cruelty, injustice and destruction, leaving ruin and desolation in their path. The story of these five