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Chapters 34-66


Chapter 34 Much about the same time, C. Sallustius Crispus, who, as we have seen, had been sent a few days before to Cercina with a fleet, arrived in that island. Upon his arrival, C. Decimus the quaestor, who, with a strong party of his own domestics, had charge of the magazines erected there, went on board a small vessel and fled. Sallustius meanwhile was well received by the Cercinates, and finding great store of corn in the island, loaded all the ships then in the port, whose number was very considerable, and dispatched them to Caesar's camp. At the same time Allienus, the proconsul, put on board of the transports at Lilybaeum the thirteenth and fourteenth legions, with eight hundred Gallic horse and a thousand archers and slingers, and sent the second embarkation to Africa, to Caesar. This fleet meeting with a favorable wind, arrived in four days at Ruspina, where Caesar had his camp. Thus he experienced a double pleasure on this occasion, receiving at one and the same time, both a supply of provisions and a reinforcement of troops, which animated the soldiers, and delivered them from the apprehensions of want. Having landed the legions and cavalry, he allowed them some time to recover from the fatigue and sickness of their voyage, and then distributed them into the forts, and along the works.

Chapter 35 Scipio and the other generals were greatly surprised at this conduct, and could not conceive why Caesar, who had always been forward and active in war, should all of a sudden change his measures; which they therefore suspected must proceed from some very powerful reasons. Uneasy and disturbed to see him so patient, they made choice of two Getulians, on whose fidelity they thought they could rely; and promising them great rewards, sent them, under the name of deserters, to get intelligence of Caesar's designs. When they were brought before him, they begged they might have leave to speak without personal danger, which being granted, "It is now a long time, great general," said they, "since many of us Getulians, clients of C. Marius, and almost all Roman citizens of the fourth and sixth legions, have wished for an opportunity to come over to you; but have hitherto been prevented by the guards of Numidian horse, from doing it without great risk. Now we gladly embrace the occasion, being sent by Scipio under the name of deserters, to discover what ditches and traps you have prepared for his elephants, how you intended to oppose these animals, and what dispositions you are making for battle." They were praised by Caesar, and liberally rewarded, and sent to the other deserters. We had soon a proof of the truth of what they had advanced; for the next day a great many soldiers of these legions, mentioned by the Getulians, deserted to Caesar's camp.

Chapter 36 While affairs were in this posture at Ruspina, M. Cato, who commanded in Utica, was daily enlisting freed-men, Africans, slaves, and all that were of age to bear arms, and sending them without intermission to Scipio's camp. Meanwhile deputies from the town of Tisdra came to Caesar to inform him, that some Italian merchants had brought three hundred thousand bushels of corn into that city, and to demand a garrison as well for their own defense as to secure the corn. Caesar thanked the deputies, promised to send the garrison they desired, and having encouraged them, sent them back to their fellow-citizens. Meantime P. Sitius entered Numidia with his troops, and took by storm a castle situated on a mountain, where Juba had laid up a great quantity of provisions, and other things necessary for carrying on the war.

Chapter 37 Caesar, having increased his forces with two veteran legions, and all the cavalry and light-armed troops that had arrived in the second embarkation, detached six transports to Lilybaeum, to bring over the rest of the army. He himself on the sixth day before the calends of February, ordering the scouts and lictors to attend him at six in the evening, drew out all the legions at midnight, and directed his march toward Ruspina, where he had a garrison, and which had first declared in his favor, no one knowing or having the least suspicion of his design. Thence he continued his route, by the left of the camp, along the sea, and passed a little declivity, which opened into a fine plain, extending fifteen miles, and bordering upon a chain of mountains of moderate height, that formed a kind of theater. In this ridge were some hills that rose higher than the rest, on which forts and watchtowers had formerly been erected, and at the furthest of which, Scipio's guards and out-posts were stationed.

Chapter 38 After Caesar gained the ridge, which I have just mentioned, and began to raise redoubts upon the several eminences (which he executed in less than half an hour), and when he was not very far from the last, which bordered on the enemy's camp, and where, as we have said, Scipio had his out-guard of Numidians, he stopped a moment; and having taken a view of the ground, and posted his cavalry in the most commodious situation, he ordered the legions to throw up an intrenchment along the middle of the ridge, from the place at which he was arrived to that whence he set out. When Scipio and Labienus observed this, they drew all their cavalry out of the camp, formed them in order of battle, and advancing about a mile, posted their infantry by way of a second line, somewhat less than half a mile from their camp.

Chapter 39 Caesar was unmoved by the appearance of the enemy's forces, and encouraged his men to go on with the work. But when he perceived that they were within fifteen hundred paces of the intrenchment, and saw that the enemy were coming nearer to interrupt and disturb the soldiers and oblige him to draw off the legions from the work, he ordered a squadron of Spanish cavalry, supported by some light-armed infantry, to attack the Numidian guard upon the nearest eminence, and drive them from that post. They accordingly, advancing rapidly, attacked the Numidian cavalry: they took some of them alive, severely wounded several in their flight, and made themselves masters of the place. This being observed by Labienus, he wheeled off almost the whole right wing of the horse, that he might the more effectually succor the fugitives. Caesar waited till he was at a considerable distance from his own men, and then detached his left wing to intercept the enemy.

Chapter 40 In the plain where this happened was a large villa, with four turrets, which prevented Labienus from seeing that he was intercepted by Caesar's cavalry. He had therefore no apprehension of the approach of Caesar's horse till he found himself charged in the rear; which struck such a sudden terror into the Numidian cavalry that they immediately betook themselves to flight. The Gauls and Germans who stood their ground, being surrounded on all sides, were entirely cut off. This being perceived by Scipio's legions, who were drawn up in order of battle before the camp, they fled in the utmost terror and confusion. Scipio and his forces being driven from the plain and the hills, Caesar sounded a retreat, and ordered all the cavalry to retire behind the works. When the field was cleared, he could not forbear admiring the huge bodies of the Gauls and Germans, who had been partly induced by the authority of Labienus to follow him out of Gaul, and partly drawn over by promises and rewards. Some being made prisoners in the battle with Curio, and having their lives granted them, continued faithful out of gratitude. Their bodies, of surprising symmetry and size, lay scattered all over the plain.

Chapter 41 Next day, Caesar drew all his forces together, and formed them in order of battle upon the plain. Scipio, discouraged by so unexpected a check, and the number of his wounded and slain, kept within his lines. Caesar, with his army in battle array, marched along the roots of the hills, and gradually approached his trenches. Caesar's legions were, by this time, not more than a mile from Uzita, a town possessed by Scipio, when the latter, fearing lest he should lose the town, whence he procured water and other conveniences for his army, resolved therefore to preserve it, at all hazards, and brought forth his whole army, and drew them up in four lines, forming the first of cavalry, supported by elephants with castles on their backs. Caesar believing that Scipio approached with the intention of giving battle, continued where he was posted, not far from the town. Scipio meanwhile, having the town in the center of his front, extended his two wings, where were his elephants, in full view of our army.

Chapter 42 When Caesar had waited till sunset, without finding that Scipio stirred from his post, who seemed rather disposed to defend himself by his advantageous situation, than hazard a battle in the open field, he did not think proper to advance further that day, because the enemy had a strong garrison of Numidians in the town, which besides covered the center of their front: and he foresaw great difficulty in forming, at the same time, an attack upon the town, and opposing their right and left, with the advantage of the ground; especially as the soldiers had continued under arms and fasted since morning. Having therefore led back his troops to their camp, he resolved next day to extend his lines nearer the town.

Chapter 43 Meantime Considius, who was besieging eight mercenary cohorts of Numidians and Getulians in Acilla, where P. Messius commanded, after continuing long before the place, and seeing all his works burned and destroyed by the enemy, upon the report of the late battle of the cavalry, set fire to is corn, destroyed his wine, oil, and other stores, which were necessary for the maintenance of his army; and abandoning the siege of Acilla, divided his forces with Scipio, and retired through the kingdom of Juba, to Adrumetum.

Chapter 44 Meanwhile one of the transports, belonging to the second embarkation, which Allienus had sent from Sicily, in which were Q. Cominius, and L. Ticida, a Roman knight, being separated from the rest of the fleet, in a storm, and driven to Thapsus, was taken by Virgilius, and all the persons on board sent to Scipio. A three-banked galley likewise, belonging to the same fleet, being forced by the winds to Aegimurum, was intercepted by the squadron under Varus and M. Octavius. In this vessel were some veteran soldiers, with a centurion, and a few new levies, whom Varus treated without insult, and sent under a guard to Scipio. When they came into his presence, and appeared before his tribunal: "I am satisfied," said he, "it is not by your own inclination, but at the instigation of your wicked general, that you impiously wage war on your fellow-citizens, and every man of worth. If, therefore, now that fortune has put you in our power, you will take this opportunity to unite with the good citizens, in the defense of the commonwealth, I am determined to give you life and money: therefore speak openly your sentiments."

Chapter 45 Scipio having ended his speech, and expecting a thankful return to so gracious an offer, permitted them to reply; one of their number, a centurion of the fourteenth legion, thus addressed him: "Scipio," says he ("for I can not give you the appellation of general), I return you my hearty thanks for the good treatment you are willing to show to prisoners of war; and perhaps I might accept of your kindness were it not to be purchased at the expense of a horrible crime. What! shall I carry arms, and fight against Caesar, my general, under whom I have served as centurion; and against his victorious army, to whose renown I have for more than thirty-six years endeavored to contribute by my valor? It is what I will never do, and even advise you not to push the war any further. You know not what troops you have to deal with, nor the difference betwixt them and yours: of which, if you please, I will give you an indisputable instance. Do you pick out the best cohort you have in your army, and give me only ten of my comrades, who are now your prisoners, to engage them: you shall see by the success, what you are to expect from your soldiers."

Chapter 46 When the centurion had courageously made this reply, Scipio, incensed at his boldness, and resenting the affront, made a sign to some of his officers to kill him on the spot, which was immediately put in execution. At the same time, ordering the other veteran soldiers to be separated from the new levies, "Carry away." said he, "these men, contaminated by the pollution of crime, and pampered with the blood of their fellow-citizens." Accordingly they were conducted without the rampart, and cruelly massacred. The new-raised soldiers were distributed among his legions, and Cominius and Ticida forbade to appear in his presence. Caesar, concerned for his misfortune, broke, with ignominy, the officers whose instructions were to secure the coast, and advance to a certain distance into the main sea, to protect and facilitate the approach of the transports, but who had neglected their duty on that important station.

Chapter 47 About this time a most incredible accident befell Caesar's army; for the Pleiades being set, about the second watch of the night, a terrible storm arose, attended by hail of an uncommon size. But what contributed to render this misfortune the greater was, that Caesar had not, like other generals, put his troops into winter quarters, but was every three or four days changing his camp, to gain ground on the enemy; which keeping the soldiers continually employed they were utterly unprovided with any conveniences to protect them from the inclemency of the weather. Besides, he had brought over his army from Sicily with such strictness, that neither officer nor soldier had been permitted to take their equipages or utensils with them, nor so much as a vessel or a single slave; and so far had they been from acquiring or providing themselves with any thing in Africa, that, on account of the great scarcity of provisions, they had even consumed their former stores. Impoverished by these accidents, very few of them had tents; the rest had made themselves a kind of covering, either by spreading their clothes, or with mats and rushes. But these being soon penetrated by the storm and hail, the soldiers had no resource left, but wandered up and down the camp, covering their heads with their bucklers to shelter them from the violence of the weather. In a short time the whole camp was under water, the fires extinguished, and all their provisions washed away or spoiled. The same night the shafts of the javelins belonging to the fifth legion, of their own accord, took fire.

Chapter 48 In the mean time, king Juba, having been informed of the cavalry actions with Scipio, and being earnestly solicited, by letters from that general, to come to his assistance, left Sabura at home with part of the army, to carry on the war against Sitius, and that he might add the weight of his authority to free Scipio's troops from the dread they had of Caesar, began his march, with three legions, eight hundred regular horse, a body of Numidian cavalry, great numbers of light-armed infantry, and thirty elephants. When he arrived he lodged himself, with those forces which I have described, in a separate camp, at no great distance from that of Scipio. (Great alarm had prevailed for some time previously in Caesar's camp, and the report of his approach had increased and produced a general suspense and expectation among the troops. But his arrival, and the appearance of his camp, soon dispelled all these apprehensions; and they despised the king of Mauritania, now that he was present, as much as they had feared him when at a distance.) After this junction, any one might easily perceive that Scipio's courage and confidence were increased by the arrival of the king. For next day, drawing out all his own and the royal forces, with sixty elephants, he ranged them, in order of battle, with great ostentation advancing a little beyond his intrenchments, and, after a short stay, retreated to his camp.

Chapter 49 Caesar, knowing that Scipio had received all the supplies he expected, and judging he would no longer decline coming to an engagement, began to advance along the ridge with his forces, extend his lines, secure them with redoubts, and possess himself of the eminences between him and Scipio. The enemy, confiding in their numbers, seized a neighboring hill, and thereby prevented the progress of our works. Labienus had formed the design of securing this post, and as it lay nearest his quarters, soon got thither.

Chapter 50 There was a broad and deep valley, of rugged descent, broken with caves, which Caesar had to pass before he could come to the hill which he wished to occupy, and beyond which was a thick grove of old olives. Labienus, perceiving that Caesar must march this way, and having a perfect knowledge of the country, placed himself in ambush, with the light-armed foot and part of the cavalry. At the same time he disposed some horse behind the hills, that when he should fall unexpectedly upon Caesar's foot, they might suddenly advance from behind the mountain. And thus Caesar and his army being attacked in front and rear, surrounded with danger on all sides, and unable either to retreat or advance, would, he imagined, fall an easy prey to his victorious troops. Caesar, who had no suspicion of the ambuscade, sent his cavalry before; and arriving at the place, Labienus's men, either forgetting or neglecting the orders of their general, or fearing to be trampled to death in the ditch by our cavalry, began to issue in small parties from the rock, and ascend the hill. Caesar's horse pursuing them, slew some, and took others prisoners; then making toward the hill drove thence Labienus's detachment and immediately took possession. Labienus, with a small party of horse, escaped with great difficulty by flight.

Chapter 51 The cavalry having thus cleared the mountain, Caesar resolved to intrench himself there, and distributed the work to the legions. He then ordered two lines of communication to be drawn from the greater camp, across the plain on the side of Uzita, which stood between him and the enemy, and was garrisoned by a detachment of Scipio's army, and place them in such a manner as to meet at the right and left angles of the town. His design in this work was, that when he approached the town with his troops, and began to attack it, these lines might secure his flanks, and hinder the enemy's horse from surrounding him, and compelling him to abandon the siege. It likewise gave his men more frequent opportunities of conversing with the enemy, and facilitated the means of desertion to such as favored his cause; many of whom had already come over, though not without great danger to themselves. He wanted also, by drawing nearer the enemy, to see if they really intended to come to an action, and in addition to all these reasons, that the place itself being very low, he might there sink some wells; whereas before he had a long and troublesome way to send for water. While the legions were employed in these works, part of the army stood ready drawn up before the trenches, and had frequent skirmishes with the Numidian horse and light-armed foot

Chapter 52 A little before evening, when Caesar was drawing off his legions from the works, Juba, Scipio, and Labienus, at the head of all their horse and light-armed foot, fell furiously upon his cavalry; who, being overwhelmed by the sudden and general attack of so great a multitude, were forced to give ground a little. But the event was very different from what the enemy expected; for Caesar, leading back his legions to the assistance of his cavalry, they immediately rallied, turned upon the Numidians, and charging them vigorously while they were dispersed and disordered with the pursuit, drove them with great loss to the king's camp, and slew several of them. And had not night intervened, and the dust raised by the wind obstructed the prospect, Juba and Labienus would both have fallen into Caesar's hands, and their whole cavalry and light-armed infantry have been cut off. Meanwhile Scipio's men, of the fourth and sixth legions, left him in crowds, some deserting to Caesar's camp, others fleeing to such places as were most convenient for them. Curio's horse likewise, distrusting Scipio and his troops, followed the same counsel.

Chapter 53 While these things were being carried on by Caesar and his opponents around Uzita, two legions, the ninth and tenth, sailing in transports from Sicily, when they came before Ruspina, observing Caesar's ships that lay at anchor about Thapsus, and fearing it might be the enemy's fleet stationed there to intercept them, imprudently stood out to sea; and after being long tossed by the winds, and harassed by thirst and famine, at last arrived at Caesar's camp.

Chapter 54 Soon after these legions were landed, Caesar, calling to mind their former licentious behaviour in Italy, and the rapines of some of their officers, seized the slight pretext furnished by C. Avienus, a military tribune of the tenth legion, who, when he set out for Sicily, filled a ship entirely with his own slaves and horses, without taking on board one single soldier. Wherefore, summoning all the military tribunes and centurions to appear before his tribunal next day, he addressed them in these terms, "I could have wished that those, whose insolence and former licentious character have given me cause of complaint, had been capable of amendment, and of making a good use of my mildness, patience, and moderation. But since they know not how to confine themselves within due bounds, I intend to make an example of them, according to the law of arms, in order that others may be taught a better conduct. Because you, C. Avienus, when you were in Italy, instigated the soldiers of the Roman people to revolt from the republic and have been guilty of rapines and plunders in the municipal towns; and because you have never been of any real service, either to the commonwealth or to your general, and in lieu of soldiers, have crowded the transports with your slaves and equipage; so that, through your fault, the republic is in want of soldiers, who at this time are not only useful, but necessary; for all these causes, I break you with ignominy, and order you to leave Africa this very day. In like manner I break you, A. Fonteius, because you have behaved yourself as a seditious officer, and as a bad citizen. You, T. Salienus, M. Tiro, C. Clusinus, have attained the rank of centurions through my indulgence, and not through your own merit; and since you have been invested with that rank, have neither shown bravery in war, nor good conduct in peace, and have been more zealous in raising seditions, and exciting the soldiers against your general than in observing forbearance and moderation. I therefore think you unworthy of continuing centurions in my army: I break you, and order you to quit Africa as soon as possible." Having concluded this speech, he delivered them over to some centurions, with orders to confine them separately on board a ship, allowing each of them a single slave to wait on him.

Chapter 55 Meantime the Getulian deserters, whom Caesar had sent home with letters and instructions, as we related above, arrived among their countrymen: who, partly swayed by their authority, partly by the name and reputation of Caesar, revolted from Juba; and speedily and unanimously taking up arms, scrupled not to act in opposition to their king. Juba, having thus three wars to sustain, was compelled to detach six cohorts from the army destined to act against Caesar, and send them to defend the frontiers of his kingdom against the Getulians.

Chapter 56 Caesar, having finished his lines of communication, and pushed them so near the town, as to be just out of reach of dart, intrenched himself there. He caused warlike engines in great numbers to be placed in the front of his works, wherewith he played perpetually against the town; and to increase the enemy's apprehensions, drew five legions out of his other camp. When this opportunity was presented, several persons of eminence and distinction earnestly requested an interview with their friends, and held frequent conferences, which Caesar foresaw would turn to his advantage. For the chief officers of the Getulian horse, with other illustrious men of that nation (whose fathers had served under C. Marius, and from his bounty obtained considerable estates in their country, but after Sylla's victory had been made tributaries to king Hiempsal), taking advantage of the night, when the fires were lighted, came over to Caesar's camp near Uzita, with their horses and servants, to the number of about a thousand.

Chapter 57 When Scipio and his party learned this, and were much annoyed at the disaster, they perceived, much about the same time, M. Aquinius in discourse with C. Saserna. Scipio sent him word that he did not do well to correspond with the enemy. Aquinius, however, paid no attention to this reprimand, but pursued his discourse. Soon after, one of Juba's guards came to him and told him, in the hearing of Saserna, "The king forbids you to continue this conversation." He, being terrified by this order, immediately retired, and obeyed the command of the king. One can not wonder enough at this step in a Roman citizen, who had already attained to considerable honors in the commonwealth; that though neither banished his country, nor stripped of his possessions, he should pay a more ready obedience to the orders of a foreign prince than those of Scipio; and choose rather to behold the destruction of his party than return into the bosom of his country. And still greater insolence was shown by Juba, not to M. Aquinius, a man of no family, and an inconsiderable senator, but even to Scipio himself, a man of illustrious birth, distinguished honors, and high dignity in the state. For as Scipio, before the king's arrival, always wore a purple coat of mail, Juba is reported to have told him, that he ought not to wear the same habit as he did. Accordingly, Scipio changed his purple robe for a white one, submitting to Juba, a most haughty and insolent monarch.

Chapter 58 Next day they drew out all their forces from both camps; and forming them on an eminence not far from Caesar's camp, continued thus in order of battle. Caesar likewise drew out his men, and disposed them in battle array before his lines; not doubting but the enemy, who exceeded him in number of troops, and had been so considerably reinforced by the arrival of king Juba, would advance to attack him. Wherefore, having ridden through the ranks, encouraged his men, and gave them the signal of battle, he stayed, expecting the enemy's charge. For he did not think it advisable to remove far from his lines: because the enemy having a strong garrison in Uzita, which was opposite to his right wing, he could not advance beyond that place without exposing his flank to a sally from the town. He was also deterred by the following reason, because the ground before Scipio's army was very rough, and he thought it likely to disorder his men in the charge.

Chapter 59 And I think that I ought not to omit to describe the order of battle of both armies. Scipio drew up his troops in the following manner: he posted his own legions and those of Juba in the front; behind them the Numidians, as a body of reserve: but in so very thin ranks, and so far extended in length, that to see them at a distance you would have taken the main body for a simple line of legionaries, which was doubled only upon the wings. He placed elephants at equal distances on the right and left, and supported them by the light-armed troops and auxiliary Numidians. All the regular cavalry were on the right; for the left was covered by the town of Uzita, nor had the cavalry room to extend themselves on that side. Accordingly, he stationed the Numidian horse, with an incredible multitude of light-armed foot, about a thousand paces from his right, toward the foot of a mountain, considerably removed from his own and the enemy's troops. He did so with this intention, that, when the two armies should engage, his cavalry at the commencement of the action should take a longer sweep, inclose Caesar's army and throw them into confusion by their darts. Such was Scipio's disposition.

Chapter 60 Caesar's order of battle, to describe it from left to right, was arranged in the following manner: the ninth and eighth legions formed the left wing: the thirteenth, fourteenth, twenty-eighth, and twenty-sixth, the main body; and the thirtieth and twenty-eighth the right. His second line on the right consisted partly of the cohorts of those legions we have already mentioned, partly of the new levies. His third line was posted to the left, extending as far as the middle legion of the main body, and so disposed, that the left wing formed a triple order of battle. The reason of this disposition was, because his right wing being defended by the works, it behooved him to make his left stronger, that they might be a match for the numerous cavalry of the enemy; for which reason he had placed all his horse there, intermixed with light-armed foot; and as he could not rely much upon them, had detached the fifth legion to sustain them. He placed archers up and down the field, but principally in the two wings.

Chapter 61 The two armies thus facing one another in order of battle, with a space of no more than three hundred paces between, continued so posted from morning till night without fighting, of which perhaps there was never an instance before. But when Caesar began to retreat within his lines, suddenly all the Numidian and Getulian horse without bridles, who were posted behind the enemy's army, made a motion to the right, and began to approach Caesar's camp on the mountain; while the regular cavalry under Labienus continued in their post to keep our legions in check. Upon this, part of Caesar's cavalry, with the light-armed foot, advancing hastily, and without orders, against the Getulians, and venturing to pass the morass, found themselves unable to deal with the superior multitude of the enemy; and being abandoned by the light-armed troops, were forced to retreat in great disorder, after the loss of one trooper, twenty-six light-armed foot, and many of their horses wounded. Scipio, overjoyed at this success, returned toward night to his camp. But fortune determined not to give such unalloyed joy to those engaged in war, for the day after, a party of horse, sent by Caesar to Leptis in quest of provisions, falling in unexpectedly with some Numidian and Getulian stragglers, killed or made prisoners about a hundred of them. Caesar, meanwhile, omitted not every day to draw out his men and labor at the works; carrying a ditch and rampart quite across the plain, to prevent the incursions of the enemy. Scipio likewise drew lines opposite to Caesar's, and used great exertions lest Caesar should cut off his communication with the mountain. Thus both generals were busied about their intrenchments, yet a day seldom passed, without some skirmish between the cavalry.

Chapter 62 In the mean time, Varus, upon notice that the seventh and eighth legions had sailed from Sicily, speedily equipped the fleet he had brought to winter at Utica; and manning it with Getulian rowers and mariners, went out a cruising and came before Adrumetum with fifty-five ships. Caesar, ignorant of his arrival, sent L. Cispius, with a squadron of twenty-seven sail toward Thapsus, to anchor there for the security of his convoys; and likewise dispatched Q. Aquila to Adrumetum, with thirteen galleys, upon the same errand. Cispius soon reached the station appointed to him: but Aquila being attacked by a storm could not double the cape, which obliged him to put into a creek at some distance, that afforded convenient shelter. The rest of the fleet which remained at sea before Leptis, where the mariners having landed and wandered here and there upon the shore, some having gone into the town for the purpose of purchasing provisions, was left quite defenseless. Varus, having notice of this from a deserter, and resolving to take advantage of the enemy's negligence, left Adrumetum in Cothon at the commencement of the second watch, and arriving early next morning with his whole fleet before Leptis, burned all the transports that were out at sea, and took without opposition two five-benched galleys, in which were none to defend them.

Chapter 63 Caesar had an account brought him of this unlucky accident, as he was inspecting the works of his camp. Whereupon he immediately took horse, and leaving every thing else, went full speed to Leptis, which was but two leagues distant, and going on board a brigantine, ordered all the ships to follow him. He soon came up with Aquila, whom he found dismayed and terrified at the number of ships he had to oppose; and continuing his course, began to pursue the enemy's fleet. Meantime Varus, astonished at Caesar's boldness and dispatch, tacked about with his whole fleet, and made the best of his way for Adrumetum. But Caesar, after four miles' sail, recovered one of his galleys, with the crew and a hundred and thirty of the enemy's men left to guard her; and took a three benched galley belonging to the enemy which had fallen astern during the engagement, with all the soldiers and mariners on board. The rest of the fleet doubled the cape, and made the port of Adrumetum in Cothon. Caesar could not double the cape with the same wind, but keeping the sea at anchor all night, appeared early next morning before Adrumetum. He set fire to all the transports without Cothon, and took what galleys he found there, or forced them into the harbor; and having waited some time to offer the enemy battle, returned again to his camp.

Chapter 64 On board the ship he had taken was P. Vestrius, a Roman knight, and P. Ligarius, who had served in Spain under Afranius, the same who had prosecuted the war against him in Spain, and who, instead of acknowledging the conqueror's generosity, in granting him his liberty, had joined Pompey in Greece; and after the battle of Pharsalia, had gone into Africa, to Varus, there to continue in the service of the same cause. Caesar, to punish his perfidy and breach of oath, gave immediate orders for his execution. But he pardoned P. Vestrius, because his brother had paid his ransom at Rome, and because he himself proved, that being taken in Nasidius's fleet, and condemned to die, he had been saved by the kindness of Varus, since which no opportunity had offered of making his escape.

Chapter 65 It is the custom of the people of Africa to deposit their corn privately in vaults, under ground, to secure it in time of war, and guard it from the sudden incursions of an enemy. Caesar, having intelligence of this from a spy, drew out two legions, with a party of cavalry, at midnight, and sent them about ten miles off; whence they returned, loaded with corn to the camp. Labienus, being informed of it, marched about seven miles, through the mountains Caesar had passed the day before, and there encamped with two legions; where expecting that Caesar would often come the same way in quest of corn, he daily lay in ambush with a great body of horse and light-armed foot.

Chapter 66 Caesar, being informed of the ambuscade of Labienus by deserters, delayed there a few days, till the enemy, by repeating the practice often, had abated a little of their circumspection. Then suddenly, one morning ordering eight veteran legions with part of the cavalry to follow him by the Decuman gate, he sent forward the rest of the cavalry; who, coming suddenly upon the enemy's light-armed foot, that lay in ambush among the valleys, slew about five hundred, and put the rest to flight. Meantime Labienus advanced, with all his cavalry, to support the fugitives, and was on the point of overpowering our small party with his numbers, when suddenly Caesar appeared with the legions, in order of battle. This sight checked the ardor of Labienus, who thought proper to sound a retreat. The day after, Juba ordered all the Numidians who had deserted their post and fled to their camp to be crucified.

Julius Caesar

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