I am happy to have been able to offer you something you had not already seen. To me, the Boyd letters are simply wonderful. I have not yet fully transcribed his description of passing the batteries at Port Hudson on March 14-15, 1863, but it is so vivid! Here is just a bit of it:
"At 11:05 the first shot was fired directly opposite to us. It was a rifle shot and passed just over our Engine room. I was sitting on the engine room hatch and it passed immediately over my head. Instantly we were at it strong. The river where the bluffs are and over which are planted three batteries forming a half moon , giving them a chance to make us ..(text missing) both ways and well did they improve their intensity. The whole top of the bluffs were aflame and shots were crashing through and around us with a rapidity unequaled in the annals of history. Most of their shots were from rifle(?) cannon as we could tell by the peculiar sound they made. I was on deck through the thickest of the fight and I only wish I had the power to describe it. Tongue and pen are unequal to the task. Those who have never witnessed a battle can form no idea of the grandeur. Enveloped in smoke, shell and shot hissing by you..often so close you can feel the wind of them, expecting every moment for one to strike you. Shell exploding in our midst with a report deafening, scattering them in thousands of pieces in every direction..."
I am delighted to have come upon these letters and I feel they are well worth the 25 cents a page I paid for the copies!