Historic Markers Across Florida

Surprise Attack

Marker ID:  
Location: Marker is located along the east side of the Withlacoochee State Trail, in Wallace Brooks Park, just north of the Dampier Street trailhead, Inverness, FL
County: Citrus
Coordinates: N 28° 50.32    W 082° 19.664
  28.83866666    -82.32773333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


Surprise Attack
Florida De Soto Trail

It’s July 25, 1539…
Captain Moscoso is leading Hernando de Soto’s army north, from the village of Tocaste, to support De Soto’s scouting party…

Passing near a large lake, we were met by messengers sent by De Soto. They told us the scouting party had been attacked by a small force of native warriors and we were to return to Tocaste. Later in the day, we received a message to send 30 horsemen ahead as reinforcements. We have now been ordered to make our way north across a great swamp.

”The Indians succeeded in killing several Spaniards, decapitating them as promised. When the Spaniards buried the bodies, the Indians would come a night, dig up the corpses, cut them into pieces and hang them in trees for the birds to eat.”

by Garcilaso de la Vega
- La Florida of the Inca
The Native Path
The peoples of Central Florida retaliated against the Spaniards moving through their lands. Warriors would lie in wait for the army and ambush the men as they passed. They attacked suddenly and disappeared just as quickly, leading many to believe they were ghosts.

The Conquistador Trail
Of all of the weapons the conquistadors possessed, the most feared by the Indians were the war dogs. These large dogs, such as mastiffs and greyhounds, had been used on European battlefields since Roman times. In the Americas, they were used by the Spanish to force cooperation and inflict punishment. Word quickly spread throughout the Southeast of the fate of those “thrown to the dogs.”

Florida De Soto Trail, Florida Department of Transportation,
the Florida Park Service, and the National Park Service.