The following morning the Dictator went, before daylight, into the Forum and named as his Master of the Horse, L. Tarquitius, a member of a patrician house, but owing to his poverty he had served in the infantry, where he was considered by far the finest of the Roman soldiers.
In company with the Master of the Horse the Dictator proceeded to the Assembly, proclaimed a suspension of all public business, ordered the shops to be closed throughout the City, and forbade the transaction of any private business whatever.
Then he ordered all who were of military age to appear fully armed in the Campus Martius
before sunset, each with five days' provisions and twelve palisades.
Those who were beyond that age were required to cook the rations for their neighbours, whilst they were getting their arms ready and looking for palisades.
So the soldiers dispersed to hunt for palisades; they took them from the nearest places , no one was interfered with, all were eager to carry out the Dictator's edict.
The formation of the army was equally adapted for marching or, if circumstances required for fighting; the Dictator led the legions in person, the Master of the Horse was at the head of his cavalry.
To both bodies words of encouragement were addressed suitable to the emergency, exhorting them to march at extra speed, for there was need of haste if they were to reach the enemy at night; a Roman army with its consul had been now invested for three days, it was uncertain what a day or a night might bring forth, tremendous issues often turned on a moment of time.
The men shouted to one another, ‘Hurry on, standard-bearer!’ ‘Follow up, soldiers!’ to the great gratification of their leaders. They reached Algidus at midnight, and on finding that they were near the enemy, halted.