DeSoto's people described Florida while marching northward from port. They seized Indian grains for the horses and women for the men. Natives attacked them constantly. Winter camps were spread from Marianna to Panama City where DeSoto's ships, which had been left at port, brought more supplies. The ships were then sent west to find a port at which to supply the army the following year.
They returned from Mobile Bay with captives who DeSoto used to guide him overland to the ships at Mobile. Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Alabama were plundered while the army searched for gold the Indians told them about, then headed toward the ships at Mobile Bay to refresh. None of them would reach the ships. All would be diverted.