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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Elkmont in Limestone County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

The De Soto Trail

 
 
The De Soto Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, December 22, 2018
1. The De Soto Trail Marker
Inscription.  Today, after 450 years of searching, the exact route of Hernando de Soto through the southeastern United States remains the foremost historical mystery of the South. Despite the work of professional and amateur archaeologists and historians, and a national commission, there are still several alternate routes that have their defenders.

The problem is that even with a large army, De Soto left very little physical evidence along the route and neglected to record accurate latitude and mileage measurements.

A major study in the search for the De Soto route was in the 1939 39 (400th anniversary) United States De Soto Commission report. This report presented an "official” route that was intended to combine the best features of the various hypotheses developed at that time. Since then a great deal of archaeological work has been done (over 300 Indian sites have been studied in Alabama alone).

The route that now has the widest acceptance is that of Dr. Charles Hudson of the University of Georgia and his associates. Most scholars in Alabama agree with that route from the point where it it enters northeastern Alabama
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near Piedmont, down the Coosa River Valley and into the Montgomery-Selma area. There are those who believe that from there De Soto went south to the forks of the Alabama- Tombigbee rivers. This route tends to follow that of the 1939 United States Commission. Other scholars think De Soto may have gone west from Selma. Hudson thinks he went northwest.

The route that has been marked as the Alabama Highway Route of the De Soto Trail is primarily that of Charles Hudson. It has been approved by the Alabama De Soto Commission as being based on on the best currently available evidence. Only further archaeological exploration is likely to settle this question definitely.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Exploration.
 
Location. 34° 57.25′ N, 86° 53.517′ W. Marker is in Elkmont, Alabama, in Limestone County. Marker is on Interstate 65S, on the right when traveling south. Om the grounds of Alabama Welcome Center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Elkmont AL 35620, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Perspective (here, next to this marker); Legacy (within shouting distance of this marker); Visitors Center (within shouting distance of this marker); Alabama's Role (within shouting distance of this marker); Saturn IB Launce Vehicle
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(within shouting distance of this marker); Hernando De Soto in Alabama (within shouting distance of this marker); The Saturn Legacy (within shouting distance of this marker); Alabama Combat Infantrymen Monument (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Elkmont.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 21, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 39 times since then and 3 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on November 21, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Better photo of marker and photo of marker area. • Can you help?
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Mar. 4, 2021