Scipio arrived at Utica that same evening, and happening, about midnight, to meet those to whom Mancinus had written, he ordered the trumpet to sound for fighting immediately, and the heralds to call to the sea-shore those who had come with him from Italy, and also the young men of Utica, and he directed the older ones to bring provisions to the galleys. At the same time, he released some Carthaginian captives so that they might go and tell their friends that Scipio was coming upon them with his fleet. To Piso he sent horseman after horseman, urging him to move with all speed. About the last watch he put to sea, giving orders to the soldiers that when they approached the city they should stand up on the decks in order to give an appearance of vast numbers to the enemy. At early dawn the Carthaginians attacked Mancinus from all sides and he formed a circle with his 500 armed men, within which he placed the unarmed ones, 3000 in number. Suffering from wounds and being forced back to the wall, he was on the point of being pushed over the precipice when Scipio's fleet came in sight, driven at a tremendous rate of speed, with soldiers crowding the decks everywhere. This was not a surprise to the Carthaginians, who had been advised of it by the returned prisoners, but to the Romans, who were ignorant of what had happened, Scipio brought unexpected relief. Gradually the Carthaginians drew back and Scipio received those who had been in peril into his ships. Straightway he sent Mancinus to Rome (for his successor, Serranus, had come with Scipio to take command of the fleet), and he pitched his camp not far from Carthage. The Carthaginians advanced five stades from the walls and fortified a camp opposite him. Here they were joined by Hasdrubal, the commander of the forces in the country, and Bithya, the cavalry general, who had 6000 foot-soldiers and 1000 horse well trained and seasoned.
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THE PUNIC WARS
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