As soon as Hannibal was apprised in the morning that Scipio and his forces had left their ground, he pressed on after them, very earnest to overtake them before they should reach the rivers but he was too late. The main body of the Roman army had got over. There was, however, a detachment of a few hundred men, who had been left on Hannibal’s side of the river to guard the bridge until all the army should have passed, and then to help in cutting it away. They had accomplished this before. Hannibal’s arrival, but had not had time to contrive any way to get across the river themselves. Hannibal took them all prisoners.
The condition and prospects of both the Roman and Carthaginian cause were entirely changed by this battle and the retreat of Scipio across the Po. All the nations of the north of Italy, who had been subjects or allies of the Romans, now turned to Hannibal. They sent embassies into his camp, offering him their friendship and alliance. In fact, there was a large body of Gauls in the Roman camp, who were fighting under Scipio at the battle of Ticinus, who deserted his standard immediately afterward, and cave over in a mass to Hannibal. They made this revolt in the night, and, instead of stealing away secretly, they raised a prodigious tumult, killed the guards, filled the encampment with their shouts and outcries, and created for a time an awful scene of terror.
Hannibal received them, but he was too sagacious to admit such a treacherous horde into his army. He treated them with great consideration and kindness, and dismissed them with presents, that they might all go to their respective homes, charging them to exert their influence in his favor among the tribes to which they severally belonged.