Road Scholar : Home
Mark Twain and the Mississippi River, Lewis and Clark, and the Civil War

Program Number: 7883RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/19/2013 - 5/24/2013; 4/26/2015 - 5/1/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: St. Charles, Missouri
Price starting at: $819.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Topic; History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Activity Particulars

Some stairs and walking 1-2 miles daily.

Date Specific Information


A visit to Grant’s Farm is included in this date. Also, come early and enjoy the 209th annual Lewis and Clark Rendezvous in St. Charles, May 18-19. This free event includes reenactments, period food, crafts, music, and military encampment, fife and drum corps, and much more. Visit the website at for more information. Additional nights at the hotel go fast, so book early!


The Museum of Westward Expansion at the Gateway Arch will be closed and is not included on this date. A visit the Gateway Arch still takes place, as well as The Lewis and Clark State Historical Site and Camp Dubois museum and fort. Enjoy a visit to the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and an exclusive field trip to the Missouri History Museum for a special exhibit to see one of the five most important and foundational documents in American history: The Louisiana Purchase.

Coordinated by St. Charles Community College.

Mark Twain And The Mississippi River

Glimpse Mark Twain, the man, as well as the author. All-day field study to Hannibal, Mo., provides insight into Twain's childhood. Sense Twain's passion for the Mississippi, visit his boyhood home, and learn about his family and lifestyle.

Where Lewis and Clark Began: The Louisiana Purchase, Camp Dubois and Historic St. Charles

The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the U.S. and set the stage for westward expansion and the Lewis & Clark expedition. Camp Dubois served as the winter camp for the Lewis & Clark expedition prior to departure. From here preparations were made to begin the journey westward. St. Charles, Missouri, served as the final embarkation point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. At noon on May 14, 1804, the exploration began from this historic site. Come and explore this great journey West at the point from which it all began.

Civil War: Return To The Drama Of 1860s

Located at the confluence of mighty rivers, St. Louis was a 'hotbed' of activity for both sides during the Civil War. Take an in-depth look at the Dred Scott case, regional Civil War history, and local tales. Field study to Grant's home. Accessing some significant sites may include walking up to 1-2 miles, with rests, and climbing stairs.

St. Charles

More than 200 years ago, Lewis and Clark departed from the banks of this Missouri River town just west of St. Louis to begin their westward expedition. Missouri’s first state capital was a destination for traders, pioneers, explorers and Native Americans, a heritage preserved in the city’s historic districts.

Comfortable hotel with indoor pool in the heart of historic St. Charles; walk to area businesses, entertainment, and Missouri River.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Jim Erwin

A native of Missouri, Jim Erwin has practiced law in St. Louis for more than 36 years. A graduate of Missouri State University, Jim served in the U.S. Army and later obtained an M.A. in history and a J.D. from the University of Missouri. He is the author of “Guerrillas in Civil War Missouri,” as well as two other books which complete a trilogy on the Civil War and the experience of civilians who had to carry on with life while living in the middle of its battles.
Meals and Lodgings
   Country Inn & Suites
  St Charles, MO 5 nights
 Country Inn & Suites
Type: Motel
  Description: Situated on Main Street in the heart of historic St. Charles, Missouri, the hotel provides convenient access to restaurants, boutiques, the Ameristar Casino, and the Missouri River. Enjoy warm country style décor, a pool, fitness center, business center, and high-speed internet.
  Contact info: 1190 South Main Street
St. Charles, MO 63301 USA
phone: 636-724-5555
  Room amenities: Spacious guest rooms, featuring cable TV, complimentary high-speed Internet access, a data port, hair dryer, large work space with desk, iron/ironing board, in-room coffee maker and many more convenient amenities.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Approximately $79 Call hotel for details. Road Scholar rates do not apply during special events, such as the Lewis and Clark Rendezvous on May 18-19th and higher rates will apply.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Approximately $79 Call hotel for details. Road Scholar rates do not apply during special events, such as the Lewis and Clark Rendezvous on May 18-19th and higher rates will apply.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check into hotel 3 p.m. or later. You will be staying at Country Inn & Suites that night.
  End of Program:
Depart by 12:00 noon You will be staying at Country Inn & Suites the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking at hotel in St. Charles, MO. Please contact Road Scholar Coordinator if you will need parking for an RV, so prior arrangements can be made.
To Start of Program
  Location:  St Charles, MO
  Nearest city or town:  St. Charles, Missouri
  Nearest highway: Interstate 70
  Nearest airport:  Lambert International Airport in St Louis
  From End of Program
  Location: St Charles, MO
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

St Louis


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Go-Best Express
phone: 314-222-5300


Per Person/One Way:


One way $18pp; $34 roundtrip; 2 or more $15 pp; $29 roundtrip
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Less than 1 hour 




Less than 20 miles


Transportation from the airport: Go-Best Express Airport Shuttle Transportation: Round-trip cost approximately $34. Counters are inside next to exit 12. Shared van service to downtown hotels. To make online reservations go to

Driving Directions
  Illinois From The East (Illinois) Depart I-270 South At exit 20A-B, take ramp right for I-70 West toward Kansas City At exit 229B, take ramp right and follow signs for Fifth St. Bear right onto S. 5th St. Immediately turn right onto Ameristar Blvd. Turn left onto S. Main St. Arrive at 1190 St. Main Street
  Kansas City, MO From the East (on I-70 W) Depart I-70 West At exit 229B, take ramp right and follow signs for 5th Street Bear right onto S. 5th Street Immediately turn right onto Ameristar Blvd. Turn left onto S. Main Street Arrive at 1190 S. Main Street
  South The South (on I-270 N) Depart I-270 North At exit 20B-A, take ramp right for I-70 West toward Kansas City At exit 229B, take ramp right and follow signs for Fifth Street Bear right onto S. 5th St. Immediately turn right onto Ameristar Blvd. Turn left onto S. Main Street Arrive at 1190 S. Main Street
  St. Louis, MO. From the West (on 1-70E) Depart ramp for I-70 East At exit 229, take ramp right and follow signs for 5th Street Turn left onto S. 5th Street Turn right onto Ameristar Blvd. Turn left onto S. Main Street Arrive at 1190 S. Main Street
Elevation Note: Midwest location provides for very low elevation. All activities below 1,300 feet.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Program Welcome and Orientation at 4:30P.M.
(Sunday, May 19)
 Dinner: Dinner at 5:30 PM.
 Evening: Evening program.
 Evening: Evening program.
Accommodations: Country Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Jefferson National Expansion Memorial "The Arch"/White Haven
(Monday, May 20)
 Breakfast: Country Inn and Suites
 Morning: Interactive field study of the Museum of Westward Expansion under the Arch. Opportunities to travel to the top of the Arch.
 Lunch: Local restaurant
 Afternoon: Study of Ulyses and Julia Grant's home and life here in St Louis, MO.
 Dinner: Country Inn and Suites
 Evening: Evening program.
Accommodations: Country Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Dred Scott Case and Old Court House/Historic Main Street in St. Charles/Lecture.
(Tuesday, May 21)
 Breakfast: Country Inn and Suites
 Morning: Study of the Old Court House and reenactment of the Dred Scott Case. 35 steps to second floor.
 Lunch: Lunch will be on the road at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Jefferson Barracks History Museum and lecture on the importance the Barracks played in the Civil War in MO.
 Dinner: Dinner in St Charles.
 Evening: Program lecture Lewis and Clark.
Accommodations: Country Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Underground Railroad lecture.
(Wednesday, May 22)
 Breakfast: Country Inn and Suites
 Morning: Escape to freedom lecture.
 Lunch: Country Inn and Suites, Box lunch.
 Afternoon: Walk on Historic South Main Street to see architecture and Lewis and Clark Museum
 Dinner: Dinner on your own tonight.
 Evening: Evening on Main St on own.
Accommodations: Country Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Day field trip to Hannibal, MO to study Mark Twain.
(Thursday, May 23)
 Breakfast: Early breakfast before trip to Hannibal, MO.
 Morning: All day field study in Hannibal, MO to study Mark Twain. This is a 2 hour ride each way. We will take restroom breaks in transit, showing educational videos relating to Twain.
 Lunch: Mark Twain Riverboat - Cruise on Old Man River.
 Afternoon: Explore on your own. Opportunities to visit the Norman Rockwell paintings at the museum, the Becky Thatcher ice cream parlor and bookstore.
 Dinner: Country Inn and Suites
 Evening: No program.
Accommodations: Country Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Program conclusion.
(Friday, May 24)

Note: Program lecture and wrap up. Dismissed by 10:30 am.

 Breakfast: Days Inn.
 Morning: We will have a final lecture on "The Mysterious Death of Merriwether Lewis", followed by a wrap up session and closing. Departure will be between 11-11:30 AM.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

The Civil War in Missouri: A Military History (SHADES OF BLUE & GRAY)

Author: Louis S. Gerteis

Description: Guerrilla warfare, border fights, and unorganized skirmishes are all too often the only battles associated with Missouri during the Civil War. Combined with the states distance from both sides capitals, this misguided impression paints Missouri as an insignificant player in the nations struggle to define itself. Such notions, however, are far from an accurate picture of the Midwest states contributions to the wars outcome. Though traditionally cast in a peripheral role, the conventional warfare of Missouri was integral in the Civil Wars development and ultimate conclusion. The strategic battles fought by organized armies are often lost amidst the stories of guerrilla tactics and bloody combat, but in The Civil War in Missouri, Louis S. Gerteis explores the states conventional warfare and its effects on the unfolding of national history.

Guerrillas in Civil War Missouri

Author: James W. Erwin

Description: During the Civil War, Missouri was in constant turmoil from raids by heavily armed bands of marauders loosely affiliated with the Confederate army. Federal troops fought more than one thousand battles in Missouri--mostly with guerrillas. But these numbers mask the level of violence because they do not include attacks on civilians. Ordinary persons felt the dread of uncertainty when riders approached their homes. Were they Union soldiers or guerrillas in blue coats taken off soldiers they had ambushed? Sometimes it did not matter. Entire counties were given up to destruction because both sides were willing to turn to guns and torches if their demands for supplies and information were not met.

Ulysses S. Grant Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

Author: An Intro & Notes by: James Mc Pherson

Description: Faced with failing health and financial ruin, the Civil War's greatest general and former president wrote his personal memoirs to secure his family's future - and won himself a unique place in American letters. Devoted almost entirely to his life as a soldier, Grant's Memoirs traces the trajectory of his extraordinary career - from West Point cadet to general-in-chief of all Union armies. For their directness and clarity, his writings on war are without rival in American literature, and his autobiography deserves a place among the very best in the genre. This Penguin Classics edition of Grants Personal Memoirs includes an indispensable introduction and explanatory notes by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson.


Author: Jean Edward Smith

Description: Ulysses S. Grant was the first four-star general in the history of the United States Army and the only president between Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson to serve eight consecutive years in the White House. As general in chief, Grant revolutionized modern warfare. As president, he brought stability to the country after years of war and upheaval. Yet today Grant is remembered as a brilliant general but a failed president. In this comprehensive biography, Jean Edward Smith reconciles these conflicting assessments of Grant's life. He argues convincingly that Grant is greatly underrated as a president. Following the turmoil of Andrew Johnson's administration, Grant guided the nation through the post-Civil War era, overseeing Reconstruction in the South and enforcing the freedoms of new African-American citizens. His presidential accomplishments were as considerable as his military victories, says Smith, for the same strength of character that made him successful on the battlefield also characterized his years in the White House.

Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant

Author: Edited by: John Y. Simon

Description: Julia Dent Grant wrote her reminiscences with the vivacity and charm she exhibited throughout her life, telling her story in the easy flow of an afternoon conversation with a close friend. Mrs. Grant was raised the pampered daughter of a Missouri planter, and she later remembered her girlhood as an idyll that she wished could have lasted. Many of the anecdotes she relates give fascinating glimpses into a very troubled period of American history. A dramatic reminiscence recounts the night that Lincoln was assassinated. Mrs. Grant insisted that she and her husband turn down an invitation to the theater in favor of returning home. It saved her husbands life: he had also been marked for assassination. Throughout these memoirs, which she ends with her husbands death, Mrs. Grant strives to correct the misconceptions she believed were being circulated about him. She wanted posterity to share her pride in this man, whom she saw as one of America's greatest heroes.

Undaunted Courage

Author: Stephen Ambrose

Description: Ambrose follows the Lewis and Clark Expedition from Thomas Jefferson's hope of finding a waterway to the Pacific, through the heart-stopping moments of the actual trip, to Lewis's lonely demise on the Natchez Trace. Along the way, Ambrose shows us the American West as Lewis saw it -- wild, awesome, and pristine beautiful. Undaunted Courage is a stunningly told action tale that will delight readers for generations.

The Lewis and Clark Journals

Author: Gary Moulton

Description: Following orders from President Thomas Jefferson, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out from their wintering camp in Illinois in 1804 to search for a river passage to the Pacific Ocean. In this riveting account, editor Gary E. Moulton blends the narrative highlights of the Lewis and Clark journals so that the voices of the enlisted men and of Native peoples are heard alongside the words of the captains. All their triumphs and terrors are herethe thrill of seeing the vast herds of bison on the plains; the tensions and admiration in the first meetings with Indian peoples; Lewis's rapture at the stunning beauty of the Great Falls; the fear the captains felt when a devastating illness befell their Shoshone interpreter, Sacagawea; the ordeal of crossing the Continental Divide; the kidnapping and rescuing of Lewiss dog, Seaman; miserable days of cold and hunger; and Clark's joy at seeing the Pacific. The cultural differences between the corps and Native Americans make for living drama that at times provokes laughter but more often is poignant and, at least once, tragic.

Autobiography of Mark Twain

Author: Charles Neider

Description: Mark Twain was a figure larger than fife: massive in talent, eruptive in temperament, unpredictable in his actions. He crafted stories of heroism, adventure, tragedy, and comedy that reflected the changing America of the time, and he tells his own story--which includes sixteen pages of photos--with the same flair he brought to his fiction. Writing this autobiography on his deathbed, Twain vowed to he "free and frank and unembarrassed" in the recounting of his life and his experiences. Twain was more than a match for the expanding America of riverboats, gold rushes, and the vast westward movement, which provided the material for his novels and which served to inspire this beloved and uniquely American autobiography.

Mark and Livy: The Love Story of Mark Twain and the Woman Who Almost Tamed Him

Author: Resa Willis

Description: Olivia Langdon Clemens was not only the love of Mark Twain's life and the mother of his children, she was also his editor, muse, critic and trusted advisor. She read his letters and speeches. He relied on her judgment on his writing, and readily admitted that she not only edited his work, but also edited his public persona. Until now, little has been known about Livy's crucial place in Twain's life. In Resa Willis's affecting and fascinating biography, we meet a dignified, optimistic women who married young, raised three sons and a daughter, endured myriad health problems and money woes and who faithfully traipsed all over the world with Twain--Africa, Europe, Asia--while battling his moodiness and her frailty. Twain adored her. A hard-drinking dreamer with an insatiable wanderlust, he needed someone to tame him. It was Livy who encouraged him to finish his autobiography even through the last stages of her illness. When she died in 1904, Twain's zest for life and writing was gone. He died six years later. A triumph of the biographer's art, Mark and Livy presents the fullest picture yet of one of the most influential women in American letters.

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2015 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768