Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

New Book by Tom Rollings is Released

BUENA VISTA, Colo. -

Fresh off the trail of exploring the headwaters of the Mississippi River and purchasing the sites for present-day Minneapolis and St. Paul, ambitious Army officer Zebulon Montgomery Pike is asked to lead a secret excursion to explore the western and southern expanses of the Louisiana Purchase over the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. As this new book reveals, only a zealous patriot like Zebulon Pike could have led such a group to success, surviving encounters with Indians, harsh weather, a critical lack of supplies, and a double agent to carry out this mission.

"Plight of the Dam'd Rascals: The Zebulon Pike Expedition of 1806-1807" combines excerpts of Pike's own journals and extended and interpretive narration by author Tom Rollings to chronicle this death-defying journey. The author expertly relays how Pike, the son of a Revolutionary War hero who fought with George Washington, sought a way to distinguish himself as an Army officer during a time when the United States was not technically at war. Pike, who grew up on the frontier and was adept at hunting, brought his sharpshooting skills to the task. His crew of 25 (the Dam'd Rascals) was made up of illiterate men who were good at surviving in the wild, hunting game and drinking whiskey.

Little did any of them know that their supposed several-month secret military excursion would last nearly a year, with some of them landing in a Mexican prison. The virtual suicide mission included one doctor and a French frontiersman but no scientists of any kind. Pike's men had no idea of the odds against them. The outfit's doctor had secret ambitions to support a Mexican revolution, and Pike's commanding officer was a double agent working for Spain. The Spanish were well aware of the explorers sent out to define the Louisiana Purchase thanks to General James Wilkinson, and they still considered Louisiana their territory.

The men traveled thousands of miles, suffered terrible hardships and were damaged by frostbite, fatigue and famine before being released to go back home by the Spanish who they encountered in the San Luis Valley. For their reward, the Rascals received no compensation, credit or glory for their sacrifice. Still, the courage and determination of this small band of men did leave an indelible mark in the annals of American history and deserve to be honored for their efforts.

Tom Rollings is a retired teacher and historian who engages in writing, storytelling and re-enacting at his home in central Colorado. He researched the Pike Expedition by taking "Pike hikes" and visiting "Pike sites." Rollings is a member of the Pike National Historic Trails Association and the Friends of Pike.

For additional information, please visit http://www.tomrollings.com

Plight of the Dam'd Rascals: The Zebulon Pike Expedition of 1806-1807
Tom Rollings
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-2950-4 224 pages $13.95 US

Available at Ingram, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.




More Hot Stories For You


TASTE WITH GRACE Digital Cookbook By Grace Leer Available NowTASTE WITH GRACE Digital Cookbook By Grace Leer Available Now
October 5, 2022

Country singer/songwriter and self-proclaimed foodie Grace Leer—who started cooking live on Instagram during quarantine—is sharing her love of two things that go great together: authentic country music and down-home cookin'. 

New Finance Thriller AVOIDING SWINDLERS By Al Rosen Out NowNew Finance Thriller AVOIDING SWINDLERS By Al Rosen Out Now
October 5, 2022

Business and Investing Book 'Avoiding Swindlers' by Canadian author Al Rosen, is a book full of warnings based on true events. Investors lose multi-millions of dollars to financial tricksters.

New Book THE BOY BEHIND THE DOOR Captures Fear And Fortitude Of Dutch Boy Who Escaped The NazisNew Book THE BOY BEHIND THE DOOR Captures Fear And Fortitude Of Dutch Boy Who Escaped The Nazis
October 5, 2022

Inspired by a real boy and real events, David Tabatsky's new book, The Boy Behind the Door: How Salomon Kool Escaped the Nazis, shares the story of a Dutch teenager who survived World War II by eluding the Nazis time and time again as German forces occupied the Netherlands.

Mylo Schaff Releases New Book BLOWN INTO NOWMylo Schaff Releases New Book BLOWN INTO NOW
October 5, 2022

Mylo Schaaf has released a new book, Blown Into Now: Poems for a Journey, which takes readers on an odyssey through shade and light, offering glimpses into the stages of grief Schaaf went through when her son died suddenly at age 24. She offers the profound manifestations of his presence that she witnessed following his passing.

Candi Milo to Discuss New Book SURVIVING THE ODD With Yvette Nicole Brown at Barnes & Noble at The GroveCandi Milo to Discuss New Book SURVIVING THE ODD With Yvette Nicole Brown at Barnes & Noble at The Grove
September 29, 2022

Candi Milo’s dark comedy memoir about her childhood, Surviving the Odd, will be released on October 4th by New Haven Publishing.