Monday, September 9, 2013

Battle of Lake Erie

200th Anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie

In September of 1813, during the War of 1812, Oliver Hazard Perry of the U.S. Navy and his crew of 557 brave patriots prevailed over the British fleet in the Battle of Lake Erie near Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Two hundred years later, we will come together to celebrate Perry’s victory, our nation’s sovereignty and the enduring peace between nations. As caretakers of our freedom, we are called to bear witness to history in our own special way. The torch has been passed to our generation, who enjoys the great bounties of Lake Erie that were secured forever by Perry and those who came before us.

I follow a blog called “New York History: Historical News & Views from theEmpire State”. At the end of each week they post intriguing articles from various parts of our state. Recently I read about the anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie. This led me to the Old Salt Blog that led their article with Olive Perry’s famous: “We have met the enemy and they are ours; two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop.” Visit Old Salt & watch the video of the warship. Old Salt gives a link to the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial Website.

The Bicentennial Website gives information on: History, News & Info, Get On Board, Photo Gallery & the Foundation. Visit the site and learn about the celebration that has run for several days. Learn more about important events in the lives of our ancestors. I wish I lived closer. I would join the fun!

Brig Niagara from the Bicentennial Website

The Niagara is a squared-rigged, two-masted warship originally armed with eighteen carronades and two long guns. On the berthing deck were sleeping quarters for the officers and crew, storerooms, sail bin, and a wood stove. Magazines for shot and gunpowder were stored in the hold below deck. 
The Battle of Lake Erie was fought on September 10, 1813. During the conflict’s initial stages the Niagara was not engaged. However, after two hours of desperate fighting the U.S. Brig Lawrence, Perry’s first flagship and the Niagara’s sistership, had been battered into a defenseless hulk. Perry then transferred his battle flag to the Niagara and assumed command. Sailing the Niagara between the British battle line, Perry utilized his new flagship’s firepower to the fullest, ravaging the enemy fleet and compelling the entire British force to surrender. For her efforts the Niagara lost 2 men killed and 25 wounded. Perry’s aggressive action and the Niagara’s heavy guns together tolled the death knell over British dominance of Lake Erie.

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