Goose Van Schaick – Continental Army Officer – New York


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 1779 expedition against the Onondaga Indians. His forces 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. 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”.

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

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.