December 31, 1877
Washington, D.C.

Sir:  By virtue of the authority conferred upon me by section 5287 of the Revised Statues of the United States, and in execution of the same, you are hereby empowered and directed to take possession of the steamer Estelle, now or lately lying at Bristol, in Rhode Island, and to detain the same until further orders from me concerning the same, and to employ such portions of the land and naval forces of the United States as may be necessary for that purpose.