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Otsego Herald

October 3, 2013

Great Naval Victory

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, Oct. 2, 1813

Compiled, with comments

by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL

Commodore Perry Captures Lake Erie

Letter from Com. Perry to Secretary of the Navy, 13th Sept., 1813.

SIR- In my last, I informed you that we had captured the enemy’s fleet on this lake.... On the morning of the 10th [September] at sunrise, they were discovered from Put-in-Bay, where I lay at anchor with the squadron under my command. We got under way...and stood for them. At 10 A.M. the wind hauled to S.E....formed the line [of our ships] and bore up. At 15 minutes before twelve, the enemy commenced firing; at 5 minutes before twelve the action commenced on our part.

Finding their fire very destructive, owing to their long guns and its being mostly directed at the Lawrence [Perry’s flagship], I made sail, and directed the other vessels to follow for the purpose of closing with the enemy. Every brace and bow-line, being soon shot away, she became unmanageable, notwithstanding the great exertions of the sailing master. In this situation she sustained the action upwards of two hours within canister distance, until every gun was rendered useless, and the greater part of the crew either killed or wounded.

Finding she could no longer annoy the enemy, I left her in charge of lt. Yarnall, who, I was convinced from the bravery already displayed by him would do what would comport with the honor of the flag.

At half past two the wind springing up, captain Elliott was enabled to bring his vessel, the Niagara, gallantly into close action; I immediately went on board of her when he anticipated my wish by volunteering to bring the schooners which had been kept astern by the lightness of the wind, into close action..... [The Lawrence soon afterwards surrendered to the British]

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