On September 10, 1813, nine small U.S. ships defeated six British vessels in the Battle of Lake Erie. The British, under Commodore Robert Heriot Barclay, and the Americans, under Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, met near Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Perry’s flagship Lawrence quickly engaged its British counterpart. While Lawrence maintained a heavy bombardment, it was completely disabled during the fighting, and most of its crew was wounded or killed. Perry then transferred by boat to the undamaged Niagara, proceeded to break the British battle line and force Barclay to surrender. Afterward, Commodore Perry wrote to General William Henry Harrison, “We have met the enemy and they are ours: two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop.” This engagement and American success was pivotal event in the War of 1812. The Northwest Territory was secured, supply lines were opened, and young nation’s damaged morale began to improve.
Michigan Historical Calendar, courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.
For more information, see The Battle of Lake Erie, National Park Service.
“Michigan at War: The Struggle for the Old Northwest, 1812-1815,” a documentary produced by the Michigan Commission on the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, has been posted for free access on MI Streamnet through a partnership with Wayne Regional Educational Services Agency.
Eric G. Swedin, “War of 1812: Battle of Lake Erie — Oliver Perry Prevails”, Originally published by Military History magazine. Published Online: June 12, 2006
While it lasts check out Battle of Lake Erie 2013 “Some Nights” Promo celebrating Reenactment Festivities at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, August 28-September 10, 2013.
The Battle of Lake Erie, a 90-second synopsis sponsored by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.