Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Perry 'met the enemy' at Battle of Lake Erie
On Sept. 10, 1813 - during what came to be called the Battle of Lake Erie - nine small American ships under Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry defeated six superior British vessels near Put-in-Bay, Ohio.
During the War of 1812, the British had blockaded the port of Erie, Pa. When the enemy withdrew on Aug. 1, 1813, Perry took his newly built ships out of the harbor. Then he engaged the British fleet of Commodore Robert Heriot Barclay. Perry's flagship, the USS Lawrence, came under heavy bombardment and lost most of its crew. Perry transferred by boat to the undamaged Niagara, rejoined the battle and forced Barclay to surrender all six of his ships.
Perry reported to William Henry Harrison, major general of the Army of the Northwest: "We have met the enemy, and they are ours - two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop."
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