From Ohio History Central
The Battle of Lake Erie was a pivotal naval engagement between British and American forces during the War of 1812.
At the beginning of the War of 1812, the United States sent Oliver Hazard Perry to command the American forces on Lake Erie. When he arrived in Presque Isle (modern-day Erie, Pennsylvania), Perry commissioned several carpenters to build a fleet of ships. Within a year, he had nine ships. However, only two, the ''Lawrence'' and the ''Niagara'', were fit for battle. Perry had also assembled a force of about five hundred men to serve under him, and after several months of drilling, they were a capable naval unit.
The American victory at the Battle of Lake Erie cut off the British supply lines and forced them to abandon Detroit. It also paved the way for General Harrison's attack on the British and Indian forces at the Battle of the Thames.