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The Lake Erie Campaign of 1813: I Shall Fight Them This Day

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On September 10, 1813, the hot, still air that hung over Lake Erie was broken by the sounds of sharp conflict. Led by Oliver Hazard Perry, the American fleet met the British, and though they sustained heavy losses, Perry and his men achieved one of the most stunning victories in the War of 1812. Author Walter Rybka traces the Lake Erie Campaign from the struggle to build the fleet in Erie, Pennsylvania, during the dead of winter and the conflict between rival egos of Perry and his second in command, Jesse Duncan Elliott, through the exceptionally bloody battle that was the first U.S. victory in a fleet action. With the singular perspective of having sailed the reconstructed U.S. brig Niagara for over twenty years, Rybka brings the knowledge of a shipmaster to the story of the Lake Erie Campaign and the culminating Battle of Lake Erie.

The History Press, Paperback, 128 pages.

About the Author:

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1950, frequent visits to the harbor seeded Walter Rybka's maritime interest. His parents took their four children to museums of all kinds, as well as to many national parks and historic sites, which encouraged an interest in history. His career has been divided between preservation of historic ships for museums and experiential education programs sailing historic vessel types. In command of the reconstructed U.S. brig Niagara since 1991, he resides in Erie, Pennsylvania. He is married and has one daughter, who is now ten. He has a USCG license as master, auxiliary sail, 1,600 tons, oceans.