June 10, 2013

The Battle of Lake Erie: By the Numbers

  • By: David Weible

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial watches over the Put-in-Bay. Credit: Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory, Flickr
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial watches over the Put-in-Bay.

In the upcoming summer issue of Preservation magazine magazine, I head back to my Midwestern roots to celebrate and explore the history behind the most important naval battle of the War of 1812: the Battle of Lake Erie.

Fought to the northwest of Put-in-Bay, Ohio on September 10, 1813, the American fleet, led by 28-year-old Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, eventually prevailed over their more heavily gunned British counterparts, turning the tide of the war.

Below are a few facts and figures to whet your appetite for my full account in the Summer issue.

1615: Year that Lake Erie was first visited by European explorers.

7: The time on the morning of September 10, 1813 when the American fleet set sail to engage the British. The first shot of the battle was fired at 11:45 a.m. and the American fleet finally secured victory just after 3 p.m.

8: Distance in miles northwest from Put-in-Bay where the battle took place in September of 1813.

Put-in-Bay, Ohio, where Perry’s fleet awaited the arrival of the British. Credit: NOAA's National Ocean Service, Flickr
Put-in-Bay, Ohio, where Perry’s fleet awaited the arrival of the British.

557: Number of crewmembers in Perry’s fleet. Each one will be represented in the Battle’s recreation this September by a volunteer.

63: The number of cannons the British fleet held on its six vessels for the Battle of Lake Erie. The Americans had just the 54 guns on nine ships.

241: Length of Lake Erie in miles from west to east.

9,910: Surface area of Lake Erie in square miles, making it larger than the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia.

10.5 million: Number of people that live in the United States portion of the Lake Erie watershed. Another 1.9 million live on the Canadian side.

2.6: Number of years it takes for water to cycle all the way through the lake.

The brig Niagara, which Commodore Perry rowed to after his flagship, the Lawrence was disabled. Credit: Jet Express Ferry, Flickr
The brig Niagara, which Commodore Perry rowed to after his flagship, the Lawrence, was disabled.

9: Number of ports that tall ships will depart from on their voyage to Put-in-Bay, Ohio for the recreation for the battle this September.

17: Number of tall ships that will be present for the battle’s recreation this September.

118: The height in feet of the Niagara’s main mast. Perry rowed to the American brig near the end of the battle after his flagship, the Lawrence, was disabled. The Niagara was sunk near Presque Isle, Penn., after the war, but was raised and restored in 1913. It will participate in the recreation of the battle this September.

6: The number of officers killed in the Battle of Lake Erie that were re-interred in Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial on September 11, 1913. The American officers were John Brooks, Henry Laub, and John Clark, while the British officers were Robert Finnis, John Garland, and James Garden.

David Weible is the content specialist at the National Trust, previously with Preservation and Outside magazines. His interest in historic preservation was inspired by the ‘20s-era architecture, streetcar neighborhoods, and bars of his hometown of Cleveland.

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