October 18, 1540
Hernando de Soto’s Spaniards and Chief Tascaluza’s Mabila Indians met in the Battle of Mabila, the largest battle ever fought between Indians and whites on North American soil. After taking Chief Tascaluza hostage, the 600 Spanish soldiers met 2,000 warriors at the palisaded town of Mabila in central Alabama. The Spaniards barely escaped from inside the fortifications before setting fire to the town, killing all its inhabitants. The Spanish reported losses of 200 and all their supplies, which were lost inside the burned town. The exact location of the battle remains a mystery to this day.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.