MOBILE, April 8, 1864.
Admiral F. BUCHANAN,
Commanding Naval Dept. of the Gulf, Mobile, Ala.:
ADMIRAL: In the interview that took place between us yesterday day in your office respecting my launch and her destination, you were pleased to infer that you had no idea of her destination or the character of the expedition that I had proposed to the Government, for which I have so offer called upon you for your approval in conformity with the letter which I have from the honorable Secretary of the Navy.
I now respectfully inform you that I have completed her outfit and that she is ready for service, and only wait your permission to enroll my crew, under the rules and regulations of the naval service, to operate against the enemy at the mouths of the Mississippi River, and on the lakes, where there are many valuable captures to be made.
My first point of attack will be at the Head of the Passes, and capture one or two of the enemy's tow-boats. There are four of them, namely, Leviathan, Henry J. Tyler, Illinois, and Eliza; three of these boats are propellers, the other is a side-wheel steamer. My armament will be composed of two armed launches, one pulling fourteen oars and the other twelve, carrying each a full crew of 20 armed men, including the officers, which will be sen in the copy of my stock contract* accompanying this letter.
Second. Should I fail in the capture of the tow-boats, or should I have to send a prize crew off, I then intend to push for the Mississippi coast, ear the mouth of Pearl River, and break up a lucrative commerce that is now carried on the some extent by the enemy in that section of our coast, by burning and destroying the vessels that fall into my hands, and should an opportunity offer, which I have no doubt of, I shall push through the Rigolets and enter Lake Pontchartrain, and there await an of entering the new basin, where the enemy have a small high-pressure stern-wheel steamer, mounting one gun, with a crew of 20 men, black and white. This steamer is an easy capture, as none of her offices stay on board at night. There are also many lake schooners which are used as transports by the enemy that can be easily destroyed.
Could I but for a few moments claim your personal attention on this subject I am satisfied that I would enjoy a little more favorable opinion on these points.
My original intention was to take three armed launches and the full amount of stock taken (some in Richmond), but the many obstacles that I have had to surmount have almost disheartened me, but as I have expended a large amount of money I cannot withdraw now. I would furthermore state that I am prepared with the means to carry out the expedition at my own cost, and only want your approval to our enterprise, which Mr. Mallory has promised that I should have. If you would kindly grant me the requested interview I then could give you any explanation on the subject that you may require.
I have the honor of remaining, your most obedient servant,
E. M. JEFFERSON.