Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss

(Victory of Erie)

FURST, Moritz: USA, 1814, Bronze, 65 mm
Obv: Bust of General Gaines (r) MAJOR GENERAL EDMUND P. GAINES.
Rev: Trophy of enemy’s arms and cannon, labeled ERIE, crowned by Victory who stands upon a fallen British shield RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS NOVEMBER 3. 1814.
Exergue: BATTLE OF ERIE AUG. 15, 1814.
Signed: FURST F.
Mintage: 125 struck from the original dies which were cut by Furst in 1821. Inscriptions were punched into the dies in 1822.
One of a series of medals by Furst relating to the War of 1812.*
Ref: Julian 125/ MI-13; Neuzil 15; Loubat 226/44;   see Jaeger and Bowers 54/43;  Weiss BW648

Edmund Pendleton Gaines (1777-1849) entered the army as ensign of the infantry in 1799, and advanced through the ranks to become brigadier general in 1814. He distinguished himself in the battle of Erie, August 15, 1814 where he was badly wounded. For his services on this occasion he was breveted major general on September 14, 1814 and Congress gave him a vote of thanks and a gold medal. He served in Florida in the Seminole war and in Georgia in the Creek war. He was also commander of the southern and afterward of the western military districts.

The Battle of Erie (the event commemorated by this medal) pitted the forces commanded by General Gaines against the British forces in the Peninsula of Upper Canada, commanded by Lieutenant General Drummond. The Americans held the position on the margin of the lake, at the entrance of the Niagara river, near a small unfinished fort, Erie. It terminated in a victory in favor of the united American forces with about 600 of the enemy killed or wounded and fewer, though considerable, losses to the American forces. (From Loubat)

* The War of 1812 is one of the forgotten wars of the United States. The war lasted for over two years, and while it ended much like it started, in stalemate, it was in fact a war that once and for all confirmed American Independence. The offensive actions of the United States failed in every attempt to capture Canada. On the other hand, the British army was successfully stopped when it attempted to capture Baltimore and New Orleans. There were a number of American naval victories in which American vessels proved themselves superior to similarly sized British vessels. These victories coming after victories in the Quasi War (an even more forgotten war) launched American naval traditions. (From historycentral.com)

LINK to article: Medalic History of the War of 1812: Consequences to the American Indian Nations (by Benjamin Weiss)