Guest Post & Giveaway: Burning Ground by D.A. Galloway

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I am happy to be hosting author D.A. Galloway who is currently on blog tour for his debut historical, Burning Ground.

D.A. will be talking with us today about The Hayden Expedition and he has created a wonderful map which traces the actual path of the Hayden Expedition through Yellowstone, coupled with the key events and locations that occur in Burning Ground as Graham travels with this group in 1871.

I hope you enjoy the post!

The Hayden Expedition of 1871: A principal reason Yellowstone was established as America’s first national park
by D.A. Galloway, author of Burning Ground

Much of the settling of the American West in the mid-1800’s can be traced to a desire to find the best routes from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast. After the Civil War, Congress passed legislation for a series of surveys that were sponsored by the Department of the Interior. Teams of explorers and scientists were commissioned to map and photograph the vast wilderness areas between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

In the spring of 1871, Congress allocated $40,000 to finance a large survey led by Dr. Ferdinand Hayden, a regional geologist with the USGS. He selected 32 members for his survey team, which included friends and colleagues, previous survey participants, and a few political patrons.

Hayden was able to transport his large party at no cost to Utah using the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads, then formed a large pack train that traveled from Salt Lake City to the Yellowstone region. The team was afforded protection from hostile Indians by a contingent of the second cavalry based in Fort Ellis, Montana.

The map below shows the route of the Hayden Survey in red (overlaid on a modern map of the park) as it entered the region and traversed through uncharted wilderness during the summer of 1871. I have also included the location of key events depicted in Burning Ground as the protagonist Graham travels with the expedition.

William Henry Jackson, a photographer, and Thomas Moran, a renowned painter from Philadelphia, were key members of the expedition. The artistic contributions of these two men undoubtedly influenced members of Congress to vote for passage of the National Park Preservation Act in 1872, which led to the establishment of Yellowstone as the first national park. In addition, thousands of samples of plants, rocks, geothermal waters, and wildlife collected by the survey team were donated to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Below are some photos taken by William Henry Jackson in 1871.

(Courtesy of Yellowstone’s Photo Collection, National Park Service)

Annie, first boat on Yellowstone Lake by William H. Jackson. 1871

Crater of Castle Geyser by William H. Jackson. 1871

William H. Jackson – self portrait

A copy of an original watercolor sketch by Thomas Moran

(Great Springs of the Firehole River. Thomas Moran. 1871.)

Great Springs of the Firehole River (Grand Prismatic Spring)

One survey member, mineralogist Albert Peale, was a student of Hayden's at the University of Pennsylvania. Peale kept a detailed private journal of the expedition, which revealed key insights into the daily activities of the survey team.

Peale’s journal entries were key references as I wrote Burning Ground. I imagined my protagonist Graham interacting with members of this crucial scientific expedition as they spent over a month mapping the landscape and exploring the region around Yellowstone Lake. I coupled the actual events of the Hayden Expedition in 1871 with my own experiences in Yellowstone (during the summer of 1977) to construct an historically accurate perspective of the landscape and the wonders of the land the year before it was officially set aside as a park.

I hope you will consider reading Burning Ground. Discover the perils of an active geothermal area when there were no boardwalks, no automobiles, and no park rangers. Only raw beauty and potential danger. Perhaps you will fall in love with Yellowstone - like Graham fell in love with Makawee!

Burning Ground by D.A. Galloway

Publication Date: July 1, 2021

Series: Frontier Time Traveler, Book 1
Genre: Historical Fiction

Does time heal all wounds? Or do some last forever?

Pennsylvania, 1971: Graham Davidson is a young man with survivor’s guilt after the death of three siblings.

Estranged from his father and seeking a direction in his life, Graham learns about vision quests from a Crow Indian. He secures seasonal employment in Yellowstone National Park and embarks on a spiritual journey.

Wyoming Territory, 1871: Under a full moon at a sacred thermal area, Graham finds himself in Yellowstone a century earlier - one year before it was established as a national park. He joins the Hayden Expedition which was commissioned to explore the region.

Although a military escort provides protection for the explorers, the cavalry’s notorious lieutenant threatens Graham. His perilous journey through the future park is marred by a horrific tragedy in a geyser basin, a grizzly bear attack, and an encounter with hostile Blackfeet Indians.

Graham falls in love with Makawee, a beautiful Crow woman who serves as a guide. As the expedition nears its conclusion, Graham is faced with an agonizing decision.

Does he stay in the previous century with the woman he loves or travel back to the future?


"When I finish a genuinely great read, it leaves me with a sense of melancholy because the adventure the author took me on through his work is now over, and I'm left wanting more. Burning Ground is exactly that sort of book. After Graham is set upon his course by his mentor Redfield, the rest of the novel is a page-turner; the action is nearly non-stop, and the situations which arise are entirely realistic and believable. Galloway's descriptions of late 19th century frontier life are vivid and detailed. It is clear that authenticity was an important goal, and Galloway hit the mark in descriptions of equipment, clothing, firearms, and other hardware. I felt as if I were there with the protagonist Graham, and when I turned the last page I was indeed filled with melancholy, proof of an excellent novel." - Brian R. Smith, Author of Samworth Books, A Descriptive Bibliography of the Small Arms Technical Publishing Co.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the story! I was amazed at the depth of Galloway's research, which extended far beyond the Hayden survey. The details on so many things the protagonist Graham experienced in Yellowstone all ring true. I especially liked the presentation of Henry Elliott, William H. Jackson, and Thomas Moran. Each person was presented in an unvarnished manner that was quite believable. Overall, the characterization of Lieutenant Doane is painfully accurate. The author captured the spirit of a man who felt entitled and was egotistical." ~ Kim Allen Scott, author of Yellowstone Denied: The Life of Gustavus Cheyney Doane

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

About the Author

David Galloway grew up in rural Pennsylvania near Gettysburg. After a long career in the paper industry and writing a bestselling non-fiction book, Safety WALK Safety TALK, he decided to follow a once dormant dream of writing a novel.Burning Ground was inspired by two memorable summers of his youth.

As a teen, David worked on a fruit farm in Pennsylvania. It is here he met Redfield, a Crow Indian who lived a simple life but had a profound effect on the way David saw the world.

As a young man, he spent a summer in Yellowstone National Park, providing guided boat tours on Yellowstone Lake. When he was not on duty, David explored all corners of that magnificent land, often in the backcountry. His love for our nation’s first national park is rooted in these experiences.

David is currently working on the sequel to Burning Ground, tentatively titled Fatal Ground.

He enjoys reading about adventurers and explorers, traveling internationally, riding a recumbent tandem bike, and spending time with his grandsons.

David lives in Springboro, Ohio with his wife Leesa.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon Author Page

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 6
Review at Passages to the Past

Saturday, July 10
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, July 11
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Thursday, July 15
Guest Post at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, July 20
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Friday, July 23
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, July 28
Guest Post at Hoover Book Reviews

Friday, August 6
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks
Review at The Enchanted Shelf


Enter to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Burning Ground

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Passages to the Past
All rights reserved © 2013

Custom Blog Design by Blogger Boutique

Blogger Boutique