Madame La Force was a spy for the confederates. While aboard the “St. Nicholas” she kept the passengers and crew occupied with her flirtatious manner. While she flirted, men traveling with her carried her toolboxes and military trunks aboard without being noticed. Later she appeared on deck as Richard Thomas, a Zouave colonel from Maryland. As Thomas arrived on deck, his men drew their weapons. A Confederate commander George N. Hollins and the other men rounded up all the passengers and crew and placed them below the deck and ordered the ship’s captain to sail to Coan River. Hollins planned on picking up more men. What transpired on that voyage was a victory for the Confederacy.