Moscoso Alvarado, Luis De
MOSCOSO ALVARADO, LUIS DE (1505–1551). Luis de Moscoso Alvarado, who assumed command of Hernando De Soto's expedition upon the latter's death, was born in Badajoz, Spain, in 1505, the son of Alonso Hernández Diosdado Mosquera de Moscoso and Isabel de Alvarado (otherwise given as Isabel de Figueroa), natives of Zafra. A nephew of the noted conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, Moscoso married his first cousin, Leonor de Alvarado, the daughter of Pedro de Alvarado's brother Juan and the widow of Gil González de Ávila. He had two brothers in the Soto expedition, another Juan de Alvarado and Cristóbal de Mosquera. Little is known of Moscoso's early career. After joining his famous uncle in New Spain, he followed him into Peru and there became associated with Soto. When discord between the Almagros and the Pizarros caused Soto to return to Spain in 1536, Moscoso followed. In Spain he squandered in riotous living the riches he had obtained in Peru and was afterward ready to undertake a new conquest with the prospect of restoring his wealth. He commanded one of the seven ships in Soto's fleet, which sailed from the Spanish port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda on April 7, 1538, bound for Florida via Cuba. In the inland march, he held the position of maestro de campo (field commander) until the disaster among the Chickasaws of northern Mississippi in March 1541. This affair, in which much of the horse herd and twelve Spanish lives were lost, was blamed largely on his negligence. The dying Soto nevertheless chose Moscoso to succeed him as commander of the army. As such, Moscoso acceded readily to the desires of his men to withdraw.