Spanish and French battle in Caroline, Florida, 1565

The French and Spanish initially battled over the territory in the southern US. French Huguenots, religious followers of John Calvin, constructed a fort at Caroline, Florida, near the mouth of the St. Johns River.  In the rainy dawn of  September 20, 1565, Spanish officer Pedro Menendez de Aviles led an attack against the French heretics. Women and children were spared, but the men were killed as heretics.  Aviles then renamed Caroline as San Mateo. The Spanish held Florida until 1819. Image of Pedro Menendez de Aviles.

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