At dawn, September 20, 1565, four hundred Spanish soldiers under the command of the Adelantado (military governor) Pedro Menendez de Aviles launched a surprise attack on Fort Caroline, a French outpost located in the lower reaches of what is today the St. Johns River in northern Florida. The assault could not have come at a worse time for the fort's residents. Ten days earlier, most of the fighting men in the settlement had sailed south to St. Augustine with Jean Ribault to launch a preemptive strike against Menendez, who had just landed in the area. What could have been a resounding victory for the French evaporated when a hurricane dispersed and damaged their fleet within sight of their enemies' makeshift fortifications.
Boucher, Christophe J.M.
""The Greatest Dissemblers in the World": Timucuas, Spaniards, and the Fall of Fort Caroline,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 97:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol97/iss2/2