Goose Van Schaick

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Goose Van Schaick (September 5, 1736 – July 4, 1789 in Albany) was a Continental Army officer during the American Revolutionary War.


He was the son of Sybrant Van Schaick, Mayor of Albany, New York, and Alida (Rosebloom) Van Schaick. In 1758, he was a captain of a New York regiment that participated in the attack on Fort Frontenac and Fort Niagara during the French and Indian War. From 1760 to 1762 he was lieutenant colonel of first the 2nd regiment of New York Provincials and then later the 1st regiment of New York Provincials.

On June 28, 1775 he was commissioned as colonel of the 2nd New York Regiment. On March 8, 1776 he was made colonel of the 1st New York Regiment. On July 6, 1777, he was wounded at the Fort Ticonderoga. He served under William Alexander at the Battle of Monmouth.

He is most famous for his April 1779 expedition against the Onondaga Indians, starting from Fort Stanwix. His force of 558 troops attacked and burned their principal settlement together with provisions and stores, killed their cattle, and took 32 prisoners without a loss of a single man.[1] Because the most militant warriors had already left, the villagers were mostly neutrals. The Onondagas accused the soldiers of raping and killing the women. On May 10, 1779, an act of the Continental Congress: "Resolved, that the thanks of Congress be presented to Colonel Van Schaick and the officers and soldiers under his command, for their activity and good conduct in the late expedition against the Onondagas". At the time, the expedition was considered to be more effectual than the soon-following Sullivan Expedition.

He was appointed brevet brigadier general on October 10, 1783, and he served until November 1783.

He died on July 4, 1789, of cancer of his facial wound received in the battle of Fort Ticonderoga of 1758. The site of his burial is unclear. It appears he was buried in the family cemetery on Court St. in Albany until 1808, when he was reinterred in the Reformed Dutch Burial Grounds.[2] Graves from the Dutch Cemetery were later reinterred in the Church Section of the Albany Rural Cemetery.[3]

State Senator Myndert Van Schaick (1782–1865) was his son. Goose's cousin Catherine (Van Schaick) Gansevoort and her husband Peter Gansevoort were the grandparents of author Herman Melville.


  1. ^
  2. ^ The Annals of Albany by Joel Munsell, 1855, p. 186
  3. ^ The State St. Burial Grounds, Albany, NY, The Troy Irish Genealogy Society
  • Hitman, Francis B., Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution. New, enlarged, and revised edition., Washington, D.C.: Rare Book Shop Publishing Company, 1914
  • Colonel Van Schaick Accessed September 20, 2009
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