Heritage, Volume 9, Number 4, Fall 1991 Page: 15
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According to the map, the houses of the
village are dispersed with each family having
its own set of houses in a compound
outlined by a hedgerow of vegetation. The
area between the hedgerow and the houses
would have been used as fields to grow
Glass beads are one of the most diagnostic artifacts of de Soto's
time. Recent studies by archaeologists have identified two types of
beads that were traded by Indians to members of the expedition.
These beads, called Nueva Cadiz (top) and faceted chevron (bottom)
types, have been found at a number of archaeological sites in
the Southeastern U.S. None of the possible de Soto artifacts from
Texas represents the types found to be diagnostic in other Southeastern
crops such as corn, beans, and squash. This encouni
was a common village pattern for the Red
We further suggest that the Caddo village
depicted in the map fits Elvas' description
so well that it may actually be
Naguatex-one hundred and fifty years
later. A few habitations are located on the
north side of the river, fitting an observation
by Elvas that the army encountered
portions of Naguatex before crossing the
river. The majority of the village is on the
south side of the Red River, including the
house of the chief. All of this fits very
closely with the description from the expedition
narratives. The archaeological
site associated with this village has been
located. Through the work of historian
Mildred Wedel, the Hatchel-MitchellMoore
site, located in northern Bowie
County, Texas, is now regarded to be the
village depicted in the map.
From Naguatex the army moved southward
along a "road." We argue this probably
was an old Indian trail that later became
Trammell's Trace, so named after
Nicholas Trammell who used the road to Several ar
transport stolen horses in the 19th century. expedition
This trace was plotted by the authors from by the ar
of the roas General Land Of- the time
old maps in the Texas General Land Of- the time c
originated at Fulton, Arkansas, and
ed southwest through Bowie
, Texas, crossing the county line at
n's Ferry. At this point the trace
ed into the western Cass County,
through the community of Hughes
Springs, and then turning
southeast toward Jefferson.
The trace crossed Cypress
Creek slightly west of
Jefferson, then made a bend
to the east around Marshall.
At this point the trace turned
again toward the southwest,
crossing the Sabine River at
the boundary between Rusk
and Panola Counties. The
road then traveled southward
We propose that Moscoso
and his men followed the
Indian trail that later became
Trammell's Trace from
Naguatex to at least the
crossing of the Sabine River.
Using the narratives, which
state the distance traveled in
leagues each day and that
identify the Indian villages
Lered, we find the Indian towns
occurring at locations where we know
that 16th century archaeological sites
For example, based on excavations at
Lake Texarkana on the Sulphur River,
archaeological deposits were uncovered
that date to what archaeologists term the
"Protohistoric Period," or that time immediately
preceding major European
contact with the Indians. This would be
the time of de Soto, and archaeological
sites in this area could represent the
province of Nissohone encountered by
the members of the expedition.
Perhaps our best site identification
comes from the Indian province of
Nondacao. This name occurs in later
French and Spanish documents and refers
to a group of Caddo Indians living on
either side of the Sabine River around
Longview. Several archaeological sites
are linked to the Nondacao in the area.
This location is near the spot where
Trammell's Trace crossed the Sabine
River, and we believe that the Indians of
the 17th and 18th centuries are the same
people Moscoso and his soldiers encountered
200 years earlier.
The expedition next encountered the
Aays. This group is identified in all three
narratives, although the spellings of the
artifacts have been found in eastern Texas with claims that they were left by members of the deSoto
I. All of the finds from Texas are questionable. Most are clearly not old enough to have been left
ny. Others are more problematical, such as the spur above, found near Longview. Although the size
wel (roller) is larger than most 16th century spurs, it is nonetheless an old artifact and may date to
)f the army.
HERITAGE * FALL 1991 15
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 9, Number 4, Fall 1991, periodical, Autumn 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45425/m1/15/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.