Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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VAN ARSDALE, John, soldier of the Revolution, born in Goshen. Orange County, New York, 5 January, 1756; died in New York city, 14 August, 1836. Van Arsdale is well known in Revolutionary annals by his feat of climbing the flag-staff on the Battery after the evacuation of the city by the British and pulling down the English colors, which in defiance they had nailed to the staff. They had also greased the pole to prevent any one reaching the flag. Van Arsdale had served throughout the war, first as sergeant and then as captain. He suffered unusual privation and hardship in the expedition against Quebec under Benedict Arnold, was wounded and taken prisoner at the capture of Fort Montgomery and Fort Clinton, languished many months in the Sugar-house prison and in the hold of a British prison-ship, and subsequently experienced the perils of Indian warfare in several campaigns against the savages.--His son, JOHN, died in New York city, 14 November, 1883, aged eighty-seven years, on the eve of the celebration of the centennial of Evacuation-day, in which it was expected he would take a prominent part.
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