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Hannibal
Makers of History

written by "Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879"
...us, though restrained and organized combatants, had made such a sudden irruption, were flying as fast as they could from the awful scene which they expected was to ensue. They carried from their villages and cabins what little property could be saved, and took the women and children away to retreats and fastnesses, wherever they imagined they could find temporary concealment or protection. The news of the movement of the two armies spread throughout the country, carried by hundreds of refugees and messengers, and all Italy, looking on with suspense and anxiety, awaited the result. Maneuvers. The armies maneuvered for a day or two, Varro, during his term of command, making arrangements to promote and favor an action, and Æmilius, on the following day, doing every thing in his power to prevent it. In the end, Varro succeeded. The lines were formed and the battle must be begun. Æmilius gave up the contest now, and while he protested earnestly against the course which Varro pursued, he prepared to do all in his power to prevent a defeat, since there was no longer a possibility of avoiding a collision. [Pg 200]The battle of Cannæ. The battle began, and the reader must imagine the scene, since no pen can describe it. Fifty thousand men on one side and eighty thousand on the other, at work hard and steadily, for six hours, killing each other by every possible means of destruction—stabs, blows, struggles, outcries, shouts of anger and defiance, and screams of terror and agony, all mingled together, in one general din, which covered the whole country for an extent of many miles, all together constituted a scene of horror of which none but those who have witnessed great battles can form any adequate idea. Another stratagem. It seems as if Hannibal could do nothing without stratagem. In the early part of this conflict he sent a large body of his troops over to the Romans as deserters. They threw down their spe...

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