Part 7: Conquistadors and Explorers: S.C. Under the Spanish Flag | Mary Long's Yesteryear
Juan Pardo crossed into North Carolina following the Catawba River to the mountains. Near Marion, he could go no further and came upon an Indian village called Joara. An excavation near Gastonia, which was occupied by the native Americans in the area at about the time the Spanish were reported to have come through the area. The excavation revealed a small, rolled copper object, which may be European copper or may be hammered Native American copper. After prospecting in the mountains, Pardo returned to Beaufort in the Spring of 1568, but then disappeared from history, leaving a string of forts behind, between Santa Elena and Tennessee, garrisoned with about 30 soldiers in each place. The military authority in Santa Elena never thought it was worthwhile to reinforce Santa Elena, so it was taken over by Native Americans, and they, too, disappeared. Sergeant Moyano desperately wanted to return to the mineral deposits that he thought were there, but in a battle with Indians, only one soldier survived, and Moyano and the others were killed. Therefore, neither Pardo nor Moyano were able to develop the wealth of the colonies that remained unexplored.