All the while, Jean Ribault has arrived at Fort Caroline with more settlers, soldiers, and weapons. He became governor of the settlement and sent many of the soldiers aboard ships to attack St. Augustine. However, a violent storm wrecked his ships further down the coast. This gave Menendez the chance to march his forces overland for a surprise attack on Fort Caroline. With the destruction of the French garrison and fleet, the coast of Florida was now in Spanish hands.
Menendez then set forth to explore the land, build the town, and establish missions to the Indians on behalf of the Church. St. Augustine was founded 21 years before the Roanoke Island settlement and 42 years before the successful settlements of Jamestown and Santa Fe. In fact, it is the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the continental U.S. of European origin. And, this is just the beginning of St. Augustine's story.