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The Battle of Lake Erie and Its Aftermath

A Reassessment

History, Military History

The Battle of Lake Erie and Its Aftermath is an eclectic collection of essays concerning a crucial but often neglected event in U.S. history. The authors combine to demonstrate just how important Oliver Hazard Perry’s good fortune proved to be for all the peoples of the Great Lakes region, whether they benefited or suffered in the echo of his famous report, ‘We have met the enemy and they are ours.’”—Robert M. Owens, Wichita State University

Description Experts weigh in on a pivotal engagement in the War of 1812

Few naval battles in American history have left a more enduring impression on America’s national consciousness than the Battle of Lake Erie, September 10, 1813. Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry’s battle flag emblazoned with the message “Don’t Give Up the Ship,” now enshrined at the U.S. Naval Academy, has become a naval maxim. His succinct after-action report—“We have met the enemy and they are ours”—constitutes one of the more memorable battle summaries in American history.

This splendid collection celebrates the bicentennial of the American victory with a review of the battle and its consequences. The volume is divided into three sections.  The first deals with “Military Operations” in the upper Great Lakes, 1812–14, and provides an overview of the War of 1812 in the Old Northwest and western Upper Canada. The second, “Consequences,” assesses the long-term impact of this campaign upon the Native Americans and Euro-Americans who lived in the region and three individuals whose lives were changed by the American recovery of the upper lakes in 1813. The final section, “Memory,” examines two ways the United States keeps the legacy of its first squadron-to-squadron victory alive by maintaining the fragile battle flag that flew on Perry’s flagships and by sailing the replica of US Brig Niagara on the Great Lakes and the East Coast.

Collectively these essays allow the general reader, the military history enthusiast, and the professional historian to take a fresh look at this significant naval engagement and its impact on subsequent historical events.

Editor David Curtis Skaggs is a well-known authority on the War of 1812. He is professor emeritus of history at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. A retired colonel in the Army Reserves, Skaggs has written and edited numerous books including A Signal Victory: The Lake Erie Campaign, 1812–1813 and coedited with William Jeffrey Welsh War on the Great Lakes: Essays Commemorating the 175th Anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie (The Kent State University Press, 1991).

 

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