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Echoing the sentiment of his immortal words following his victory at Lake Erie, "We have met the enemy and they are ours," Oliver Hazard Perry announces the final victory that he made possible: the victory over Tecumseh and the British at the Battle of the Thames, October 5, 1813: "We have defeated the enemy completely, nearly all the British Army are in our hands"
Moravian Town, [Ontario], October 5, [1813]. 7.5" x 9.75". "Highly important Autograph Letter Signed, ""O. H. Perry,"" 1 page, 7.5"" x 9.75"", ""H. Q. Near Moravian Town,"" October 5, [1813] to Captain Jesse Duncan Elliott (1782-1845) announcing the American victory over the British at the Battle of the Thames. Moderate soiling and toning, folds, losses expertly filled in with a few words repaired, backed with archival tissue for stability. Perry writes in full: ""H. Q. Near Moravian Town 5 Octr [1813] 5 P.M. Dr Sir[,] We have defeated the enemy completely, nearly all the British Army are in our hands ?" Send up with the Gun Boats as far as you can get, and hurry on the boats belonging to the Army to met us - Yours truly O H. Perry"" Perry's victory over a Royal Navy squadron at the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813 marked the beginning of the end of British control over the Great Lakes. More immediately, the victory threatened British control of Fort Amherstburg?"guarding the entrance to the Detroit River and Lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior, which now could no longer be resupplied from the East. The Commodore's hastily penned message to William Henry Harrison, ""We have met the enemy, and they are ours,"" which prompted the general to advance on the British post near Detroit, then defended by about 800 British regulars and their Indian allies led by Tecumseh. Once Perry had repaired his ships, he transported about 2,500 of Harrison's troops across the river from Detroit to attack the British and Indians who had retreated to higher ground near present-day Chatham, Ontario. Already demoralized from subsisting on half-rations, the British force, commanded by Major General Henry Procter attempted to make a stand along the Thames River near Moravian Town hoping to drive Harrison's superior force into the river. Shortly after daybreak on October 5, Harrison advanced and quickly overran the British position. Procter managed to retreat with about 250 of his men. The balance surrendered on the field. Meanwhile Tecumseh and his allies continued the fight and held out much longer than Procter's men. But when Tecumseh fell mortally wounded on the field, Indian resistance melted away and U.S. forces declared victory. Perry's correspondent, Captain Jesse Duncan Elliott, was born in Maryland as an orphan after his father was killed by Indians at the close of the Revolutionary War. He joined the navy serving as a midshipman aboard the Essex (1804), a lieutenant on the Chesapeake (1807) and on the Enterprise (1809). At the outbreak of the War of 1812, Elliott was assigned to Presque Isle to assist Commodore Isaac Chauncey in constructing a fleet of ships to patrol Lake Erie. On October 9, Elliott captured two British vessels, one of which, the Caledonia, became the nucleus for the U.S. flotilla on Lake Erie. Early the next year, Elliot commanded the U.S.S. Madison on Lake Ontario and helped secure the capture of York (Toronto) in July 1813 before joining Perry on Lake Erie as second-in-command on the Niagara which defeated the British at the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10. The events of that day spurred a long-running feud between Perry and Elliott over the latter's conduct during the battle. The controversy grew heated enough that Elliott challenged Perry to a duel. Perry declined the challenge and instead filed formal charges against Elliott for conduct unbecoming of an officer. President Monroe, horrified by the political implications of the quarrel, refused to act on Perry's charges and the issue was never resolved during either Elliott's or Perry's lifetime."
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Last Found On: 2015-06-09           Check availability:      Biblio    

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