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Skirmish between Reconnoitring Parties

When the assembly had been dismissed, the reconnoitring party of Numidians returned in headlong flight, after losing more than half their numbers. Not far from the camp they had fallen in with a party of Roman horse, who had been sent out by Publius on the same errand; and an engagement took place with such fury on either side, that the Romans and Celts lost a hundred and forty men, and the Numidians more than two hundred. After this skirmish, the Romans pursued them up to the Carthaginian entrenchments: and having surveyed it, they hastened back to announce to the Consul the presence of the enemy. As soon as they arrived at the Roman camp with this intelligence, Publius put his baggage on board ship, and marched his men up the bank of the river, with the earnest desire of forcing the enemy to give him battle.

But at sunrise on the day after the assembly, Hannibal having stationed his whole cavalry on the rear, in the direction of the sea, so as to cover the advance, ordered his infantry to leave the entrenchment and begin their march; while he himself waited behind for the elephants, and the men who had not yet crossed the river.

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