Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter I >> Page 14

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
they were attacked, with partial success, by a large body of the natives. This was but a foretaste of what was yet in reserve for them. Undiscouraged by this reception, they boldly advanced into the country, upon that miserable march, which has been most erroneously styled "a conquest of Florida." Never was human ad-venture so unhappily misnamed. So far from De Soto conquering Florida, the Floridians conquered him.�Harrassed at every footstep yielding bloody tribute at every stream that lay in their path, every thicket that could harbor an enemy, or mask an ambush the Spaniards fought their way onward, entirely hopeless of return. The path before them alone lay open, and that was also filled with foes no less resolute than those they had left�as determined as they were strong, and as audacious as they were adroit. Nothing could exceed their audacity their froward valor their sleepless and persevering hate. De Soto reached the Mississippi, and was buried beneath its waters, a broken-hearted man ; having discovered, in the significant language of one of our own historians, nothing in all his progress " so remarkable as his burial place." The wretched remnant of his army, reduced to half their number, escaped, after a tedious period of suffering, to the shores of the gulf, whence they made their way to the river Panuco.
Nearly thirty years elapsed, after the miscarriage of this enterprize, before either of the three great claim-ants of the soil renewed the attempt to occupy it. The strifes of empire at home, and, perhaps, the melancholy results of all previous attempts, served to dis-