By Order of the Navy Department: You are to Proceed to Lake Erie

Construction of a Lakes Warship

Construction of a Lakes Warship. Illus. by Paul Wright

Subject/Question #1:
As the calendar marches toward the Bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie, most of the American public has very little idea of what was involved at that early time in the nation’s history. This blog is intended to explore some of the controversial subjects worthy of thought and discussion.

Subject: Navy Department orders to OHP, March 1813: The intent, and how they were received.

OHP was ordered to Lake Erie to finish constructing the ships. Commodore Chauncey had the authority and plans to command the Erie Squadron himself.

Question: Did Perry think he would be able to force the command away from Chauncey?


7 thoughts on “By Order of the Navy Department: You are to Proceed to Lake Erie

  1. The preparations for this major undertaking are quite very complex. Having the Perry family will certainly be an important part of the mix. Your family will be called on by the press to give their unique perspective.

    • Perry descendants may be rightly proud, but should attempt to be broad-minded. In the long run, the general public’s perspective is what counts for national spirit and legacy.

  2. I suspect Oliver Hazard Perry wanted to aid the Lake Erie campaign any way he could. Being supremely able, talented, confident, and talented, he must also have strongly hoped that fate would hand him the command.

    • He also did not want to sit out the war commanding coastal gunboats. He had to erase his loss of the ship Revenge. Some say he was driven by desire for honor, patriotism, and even glory. Today’s combat officers also chafe at being left out of a battle. It is their raison d’etre; they cannot fathom otherwise.

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