This is a List of sites and peoples visited by the Hernando de Soto Expedition in the years 1539-1543. In May 1539, de Soto left Havana, Cuba with nine ships, over 620 men and 220 surviving horses and landed at Charlotte Harbor, Florida. This began the 3 year odyssey through the Southeastern North American continent, from which de Soto and a large portion of his men wouldn't return. Along the way they met many varied Native American groups, most of them belonging to the Mississippian culture. Only a very few of these cultures survived into the seventeenth century, and for the others, this is their only entry in the historical record.