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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near New Houlka in Chickasaw County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

De Soto's Expedition

Was Owl Creek the Town of Chicasa?

 
 
De Soto's Expedition Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 4, 2015
1. De Soto's Expedition Marker
Inscription. Hernando De Soto landed in Florida at Tampa Bay in May, 1539. His army numbered around 800 Spaniards including two women. He also had 240 horses and several pigs. The expedition traveled through the Southeast to Texas and returned to the Mississippi River to float down to the Gulf of Mexico. Only about 300 Spaniards survived the four-year journey to reach Mexico in September of 1543.

Chicasa was a village occupied by the Chickasaw Indians. The Chickasaws attacked and burned their own village in 1541 while Hernando De Soto and his Spanish army were living there, in order to drive the Spaniards out.

It has been suggested that Owl Creek Mounds was the site of Chicasa. However, according to archaeological discoveries the mounds were abandoned around A.D. 1200. No one lived at Owl Creek Mounds at the time of De Soto’s expedition.

In December, 1540, De Soto entered what is now the state of Mississippi with his army of about 700 Spaniards and Indian captives. When they arrived at the banks of a flooded Tombigbee River, a group of Indians on its west bank began threatening the army. De Soto dispatched 30 mounted soldiers to cross upstream and frighten the Indians away. Once the hostile Indians departed, De Soto’s army crossed the river and continued without opposition.

De Soto and his army spent that
Possible Route of De Soto Expedition Through Mississippi image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 4, 2015
2. Possible Route of De Soto Expedition Through Mississippi
Close-up of map on marker
winter in the village of Chicasa. The Indians abandoned the village to the Spaniards and moved to a smaller village a few miles away, but the Chickasaw chief still visited Chicasa, bringing gifts of dogs, rabbits, and animal hides to De Soto and his army.

In March, 1541, the Chickasaws attacked the village of Chicasa. About a dozen Spaniards and fifty horses were killed. The Indians burned the village and the livestock pens, killing many pigs. De Soto and most of his army survived the attack and in April they resumed their journey westward.
 
Erected by United States Forest Service and Mississippi State University.
 
Location. 34° 3.371′ N, 88° 55.471′ W. Marker is near New Houlka, Mississippi, in Chickasaw County. Marker can be reached from County Road 413 2½ miles west of Natchez Trace Parkway, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located at the Owl Creek Archaeological Site in Tombigbee National Forest. Marker is in this post office area: Houlka MS 38850, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Archaeology at Owl Creek Mounds (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Archaeology at Owl Creek Mounds (within shouting distance of this
De Soto's Expedition Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 4, 2015
3. De Soto's Expedition Marker
View to the south with County Road 413 in background
marker); Archaeology Determines the Age of Owl Creek Mounds (within shouting distance of this marker); Owl Creek Mounds (within shouting distance of this marker); Hernando de Soto (approx. 2.7 miles away); Monroe Mission Station (approx. 3.3 miles away); Chickasaw Agency (approx. 3.3 miles away); Battle of Okolona (approx. 5.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Houlka.
 
Also see . . .  The Winter of Discontent by Richard Green. Article from the website of the Chickasaw Nation. (Submitted on June 24, 2015.) 
 
Categories. Colonial EraExplorationNative Americans
 
Marker in Front of Owl Creek Mound I image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 4, 2015
4. Marker in Front of Owl Creek Mound I
View to the north
Owl Creek Mound I image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 4, 2015
5. Owl Creek Mound I
Marker is at far center on left side of Mound I
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 24, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 241 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 24, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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