De Soto Defeated by Chickasaw Tribe

Brad Lieb

The Chickasaws quickly earned a valuable reputation as a "ferocious" tribe with the European explorers after their surprise attack on de Soto and his men in 1541. It was a grievous blow to the Spanish, as de Soto was nearly killed in the clash, and the Spanish lost a good portion of their supplies.


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De Soto Invades and Chickasaws Ensue Surprise Night Attack

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The first historical mention of the Chickasaws occurs as de Soto and his Conquistadors attempted a river crossing in search of winter quarters.

A Strategy to Lose No Chickasaw Warrior

Richard Green
Recognizing that the Spaniards were greater in number and firepower, the Chickasaws were prepared to lose a battle against them.

The Chickasaws: Avoiding an Uncontrolled Confrontation

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Green relates that while de Soto remained camped in their village, how careful the Chickasaws were to avoid doing anything to trigger violence.

Why Didn't the Chickasaws Kill de Soto?

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Richard Green notes historians don’t agree on the number of de Soto’s camp who were killed – from a dozen to many more.

Second Attack Drives de Soto Away

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Richard Green notes that in a subsequent attack, the Chickasaws did lose a few warriors to de Soto’s army, but succeeded in driving him away.