At his request during the war he was given command of U.S. Naval forces on Lake Erie. He supervised the building of a small fleet. On September 10, 1813 Perry's fleet defended against an attacking British fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie. His battle report after victory: "We have met the enemy and they are ours".
While this opened Canada up to possible invasion, it simultaneously protected the entire Ohio Valley. It was the only significant fleet engagement of the war.