il's Backbone, a high hill running along the river to the north of the city, commanded a Federal signal station on the isthmus, and every motion of its flags and lamps was readily seen by the officer in charge of the former — an alert and intelligent Creole named Mathew H. Asbury.
Asbury made the watching of the Federal flags the business of his life, and hardly every missed a communication of those exchanged between General Grant and Admiral Porter.
By this means the first intelligence of Banks' attack upon and repulse from the works of Port Hudson was received and communicated to headquarters.
A more noticeable feat remained to be achieved by the gallant Louisianian.
After Pemberton's last proposition was submitted to Grant, there elapsed an interval during which its fate was uncertain.
The bombardment was still suspended.
This was the night of July 3d, and an ominous and awful quiet reigned over all the scene-less welcome, no doubt, to the hearts of many than the utmost fury