Peter Gansevoort was a major participant in the War of Independence. During the time leading up to the revolution he rose from Lieutenant in the Albany Militia to Colonel during the revolution. At the end of the Revolutionary War he became Brigadier General of the Albany Militia.
Gansevoort joined the Continental Army and was promoted to Major in June of 1775. He served as field commander of the 2nd New York Regiment. His first major expedition in the Fall of 1775 involved leading his regiment north with General Montgomery's forces for the invasion of Canada. Gansevoort's regiment laid siege of the Fort at St. John's. Initially they were unable to seize the Fort, but with captured gunpowder and a huge captured mortar, they were successful in capturing the Fort on November 2, 1775.
Gansevoort's regiment then took part in the capture of Montreal, and then moved on to capture Quebec City. Halfway between Montreal and Quebec City, at the city of Trois Rivieres, Gansevoort became ill and had to be repatriated back to Montreal. The attempt at capturing Quebec City failed. General Montgomery, Gansevoort's superior, was killed in battle, and Benedict Arnold was wounded. In the spring of 1776, Gansevoort had recovered from his illness and was able to lead the remaining New York forces south in a fighting withdrawal which stopped the British advance at Lake Champlain. In recognition of his accomplishments during the withdrawal Gansevoort was put in command of Fort George in June 1776.
In November 1776 Gansevoort was promoted to a full Colonel and given command of the 3rd New York Regiment. Gansevoort's regiment was assigned the defense of the Mohawk River Valley from the Hudson River Valley to Fort Oswego at Lake Ontario. In the Summer of 1777, Gansevoort decided to concede Fort Oswego to the British in order to defend Fort Stanwix near what is now the city of Rome, N.Y. Gansevoort was able to hold Fort Stanwix for three weeks with a force of 750 men against a superior British force of about 1800 men. For the Fort Stanwix defense Gansevoort received grateful thanks from the U.S. Congress.
In 1779 Gansevoort led the 3rd New York Regiment in the Sullivan Expedition, and in 1780 he was assigned to command the New York Brigade with headquarters at Fort Saratoga. At the end of the Revolutionary War, in 1781, Gansevoort returned home and became a Brigadier General in the Albany County Militia.
In 1809 Gansevoort was made a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army and commanded the Northern Department. In 1811, Gansevoort presided over General James Wilkinson's court martial. Wilkinson was charged as an accomplice in Aaron Burr's western conspiracy. Wilkinson was found not guilty. In 1812 Gansevoort's earlier illness returned and caused his death on July 12, 1812.
General Peter Gansevoort was married to Catherine Van Schaik on January 12, 1778. Catherine was the daughter of Wessel and Maria Van Schaik. The Gansevoort's had three children, Peter, Jr., Leonard, and Maria. Leonard became a Delegate to the Continental Congress representing New York from 1787 to 1788. Leonard's son, Guert, had a distinguished 45 year career in the U.S. Navy. During his naval career he was the principal in a historic court martial, in which three young sailors were condemned to death. This event inspired Guert's cousin, Herman Melville, to write the well-known novel, "Billy Budd". Maria, Peter's sister, married Alan Melville in 1814. Their son was Herman Melville.
Note: The author of this bio profile has recently written and published six non-fiction E-books which are available for $2.99 each on the Amazon Kindle web site. Google: Amazon Kindle Store, Pegels.
E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON; GOOGLE: Kindle Store Pegels
PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS, CURRENT AND HISTORIC
EIGHT PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE ROOSEVELTS, VANDERBILTS AND OTHERS, 2015
FIFTEEN PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE VAN BURENS, KOCH BROTHERS, VOORHEES AND OTHERS, 2015
PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS IN U.S. GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP POSITIONS, 2015
DUTCH PEGELS INVOLVED IN WARS
ALLIED EUROPE CAMPAIGN—1944/1945: TACTICAL MISTAKES, 2017
THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN THE NETHERLANDS: MEMOIRS, 2017
FRENCH REVOLUTION, NAPOLEON AND RUSSIAN WAR OF 1812, 2015