The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Gazette (Kingston, ON), Dec. 11, 1813

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p.2 Report about Capt. Barclay's defeat on Lake Erie Sept. 10th: "The action commenced about a quarter before 12 o'clock, and continued with great fury until half past 2, when the American Commodore quited his ship, which struck shortly after, to that commanded by Captain Barclay (the Detroit). Hitherto the determined valor displayed by the British Squadron, had surmounted every disadvantage, and the day was in our favor; but the conflict had arrived at that period when valor alone was unavailing - The Detroit and Queen Charlotte were perfect wrecks, and required the utmost skill of seamanship, while the Commanders and Second Officers of every vessel were either killed or wounded, not more than fifty British seamen were dispersed in the crews of the squadron, and of these a great proportion had fallen in the conflict.

The American Commodore made a gallant and but too successful effort to regain the day. His second largest vessel, the Niagara, had suffered little, and his numerous gunboats, which had proved the greatest source of annoyance during the action, were all uninjured.

Lieutenant Garland, 1st Lieutenant of the Detroit, being mortally wounded, previous to the wounds of Captain Barclay, obliging him to quit the deck, it fell to the lot of Lt. Inglis, to whose intrepidity and conduct the highest praise is given, to surrender his Majesty's ship, when all further resistance had become unavailing.

The enemy, by having the weather gage were enabled to choose their distance, and thereby avail themselves of the advantage they derived in a superiority of heavy long guns; but Capt. Barclay attributes the fatal result of the day, to the unprecedented fall of every Commander, and second in command, and the very small number of able seamen left in the squadron, at a moment when the judgement of the officers, and skilled exertions of the sailor, were most eminently called for.

To the British Seamen Captain Barclay bestows the highest praise - that they behaved like British Seamen. From the Officers and Soldiers of the regular forces serving as marines, Captain Barclay experienced every support within their power, and states that their conduct has excited his warmest thanks and admiration.

Deprived of the palm of victory, when almost within his grasp, by an overwhelming force which the enemy possessed in reserve, aided by an accumulation of unfortunate circumstances, Captain Barclay and his brave crew have, by their gallant daring and self-devotion to their country's cause, rescued its honor and their own even in defeat."

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Dec. 11, 1813
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Kingston Gazette (Kingston, ON), Dec. 11, 1813