Oliver Perry Contribution

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Commodore Perry and The Battle of Lake Erie

Oliver Hazard Perry was born on August 23, 1785, in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Perry became a midshipman at the age of 13 and later became a great captain and commodore during the war of 1812. Before the start of the war of 1812, Perry was unemployed for two years. He was a self taught educator who studied the idea of naval warfare and passed his thoughts and ides down to his subordinates throughout his life to help with his remarkable career. Oliver Perry had some of the most courage and self-possession shown by any historical figure. Perry is a model set for naval officers who dominate the armed forces to this day. The Battle of Lake Erie was the first fight by Americans on water. Commodore
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Commodore Perry waited till he could see all of the enemy ships before he commanded his ships to move forward to get in position to attack. Perry noticed that the ships were evenly matched up seven on seven but knew that the British would be favored. Before they approached the twin islands Commodore Perry ordered the ships to stop and wait for the enemy to approach, but there was little wind that day which made it hard for the British to maneuver. Perry made his mind up that no matter how they were going to fight today. He told his sailing master Taylor to advance and attack leeward or windward. The two sides closed in on each other in the middle of Lake Erie and as the enemy drew closer Commodore Perry held up a flag that read, “Do not give up the ship”. At a quarter till noon the Detroit, British ship, fired on Perry and hit his ship on the second shot. Commodore Perry knew he was at a disadvantage but he continued to take enemy fire and moved forward until the British knew Perry intentions were to board their ship. Firing between all of the ships continued for several minutes. Commodore Barclay, the British leader, underestimated Perry not realizing the courage, valor, spirit, and skill that him and his crew had inside them. Commodore Perry took the Lawrence straight towards the enemy lines and positioned it right beside the Detroit, the largest of the British ships. The …show more content…
His words to the general were “We have met the enemy, and they are ours. Two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop. Yours, with great respect and esteem.” The days following the vicious battle on the lake, lead to the repairing of ships and helping the wounded. Perry moved his flag from the Lawrence, which was badly wounded from the fight and made the hospital ship, to the masts of the Ariel. During the battle twenty-seven American lives had been taken and twenty-two of them came from the Lawrence. Among the wounded was the leader of the British fleet, Captain Barclay. Commodore Perry would go to the captain’s cabin and spend time with him and by doing that came a warm friendship between once the two enemies. After Barclay was fully healed he asked for a favor from the secretary of the navy to be able to return to his homeland. Captain Barclay was giving a speech a couple short months later and gave a toast to Commodore Perry and which everybody applauded. Barclay then lead on to tell the tallies from the battle that read that there were forty-one killed and ninety-one injured. The British assumed the they would be tortured and scalped by Perry but he sent them on land and had them well fed. The officers that were killed in the battle were given a proper burial and Barclay respected Commodore Perry for that which

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