Members of the crew of the 100-ton Confederate privateer Retribution rejoiced on the afternoon of January 10, 1863. Having captured the coal brig J. P. Elliott, they estimated how much prize money the vessel would bring when taken to port and sold.
Their elation proved to be premature. When Confederates replaced crewmembers of the captured vessel, the wife of the Elliott’s mate was left aboard. As soon as the Retribution was out of sight, she broke out a store of rum and the captors became thoroughly drunk. Then the wife, not named in the official report, put irons on Confederates and sailed the bark into St. Thomas, where she delivered it and her captives to the U.S. Consul.