During the Civil War, prior to his raid in Plymouth, Lieutenant William B. Cushing, USN, cut a telegraph wire extending between Wilmington and Fort Fisher, North Carolina. While doing so, Cushing captured a Confederate courier en route to Wilmington with dispatches. Cushing substituted a union soldier for the confederate courier, sending him into Wilmington to scope out Confederate happenings. Upon the soldier's return, Cushing donned the courier uniform himself and proceeded to the fortifications of Wilmington, intent on seeking defense obstructions. In the end, Cushing's reconnaissance resulted with the capture of numerous Confederate soldiers.