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Lake Erie, Battle of


LAKE ERIE, BATTLE OF (10 September 1813). The victory of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's American fleet off Put-in-Bay, Lake Erie, was the major naval engagement on the Great Lakes in the War of 1812 and ensured immediate American control of Lake Erie and thus the freedom to invade Canada. The American and British fleets met in a light afternoon breeze, and, in close fighting, the Caledonia was nearly destroyed before the Niagara and the tardy Lawrence arrived to give support and force Robert H. Barclay, commander of the Detroit and the Queen Charlotte, to surrender. Perry sent to General William Henry Harrison, commander of the American army in the Northwest, his famous message, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours."


Bancroft, George. History of the Battle of Lake Erie, and Miscellaneous Papers. New York: Bonner, 1891.

Morison, Samuel E. "Old Bruin": Commodore Matthew C. Perry, 1794–1858; The American Naval Officer Who Helped Found Liberia. … Boston: Little, Brown, 1967.

Skaggs, David C. A Signal Victory: The Lake Erie Campaign. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1997.

Walter B.Norris/a. r.

See also"Don't Give Up the Ship" ; Ghent, Treaty of ; Great Lakes Naval Campaigns of 1812 ; Perry-Elliott Controversy ; "We Have Met the Enemy, and They Are Ours."

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