The Lake Erie Campaign of 1813: I Shall Fight Them This Day

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-07-01
  • Publisher: History Pr

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On September 10, 1813, the hot, still air that hung over Lake Erie was broken by the sounds of sharp conflict. Led by Oliver Hazard Perry, the American fleet met the British, and thought they sustained heavy losses, Perry and his men achieved one of the most stunning victories in the War of 1812. Author Walter Rybka traces the Lake Erie Campaign from the struggle to build the fleet in Erie, Pennsylvania, during die dead of winter and the conflict between rival egos of Perry and his second in command, Jesse Duncan Elliott, through the exceptionally bloody battle that was the first U.S. victory in a fleet action. With the singular perspective of having sailed the reconstructed U.S. bring Niagara for over twenty years, Rybka brings the knowledge of a shipmaster to the story of the Lake Erie Campaign and die culminating Battle of Lake Erie. Book jacket.

Table of Contents

Prelude to Battlep. 5
Prefacep. 7
An Overview of the War of 1812p. 11
Building the U.S. Naval Squadron on Lake Eriep. 32
Preliminaries to Battlep. 56
The Morning of the Engagementp. 71
Shots Ring Outp. 82
Aftermath and Consequencesp. 100
The Perry-Elliott Controversyp. 107
The Niagara Lives Onp. 112
Gun Drill Procedurep. 119
USN Ranks and Pay in 1812p. 121
British and American Squadron Comparisonp. 122
Indexp. 125
About the Authorp. 127
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


The two best known phrases in US naval history are "Don't Give up the Ship" and "We have met the enemy and they are ours..." Both are associated with the Battle of Lake Erie which took place on September 10, 1813. The most important battle in the Western theater of the War of 1812, the Lake Erie campaign is a particularly dramatic story of the struggle to build a squadron in the wilderness in the dead of winter, the rival egos of Perry and his second in command Jesse Duncan Elliott, and an exceptionally bloody battle that was the first US victory in a fleet action. The US squadron was built in Erie, Pennsylvania, sailed to do battle at the Western end of Lake Erie. The anchorage Perry used as a temporary base, Put-In-Bay Ohio is the site of a National Park Service Monument, Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. After the battle the US squadron returned to be based in Erie for the rest of the war. Erie will be making a major effort to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie in 2013.
Where David Frew's Perry's Lake Erie Fleet chronicles the years after the Battle of Lake Erie, Walter Rybka traces the period before that—the building of the fleet in Erie, the portaging of the fleet, the campaign as a whole, and the celebrated battle itself.

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