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Lewis and Clark, Mark Twain, and the Civil War

Program Number: 7883RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/8/2013 - 9/13/2013; 4/24/2016 - 4/29/2016;
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.

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: Hotel
  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 decor, 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 $74 Call hotel for details.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Approximately $74 Call hotel for details.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check into hotel by 3 PM. You will be staying at Country Inn & Suites that night.
  End of Program:
Depart by 12:00 AM. You will be staying at Country Inn & Suites the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information 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:


$18.00 pp; $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. To make online reservations go to You will need your airline, flight number, date and time of arrival to make reservation. 

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 S. Main Street
  Kansas City, MO. From the West (on I-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
  St. Louis, 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
  The South The South (on I-270N) 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
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, September 8)
 Dinner: Meet in lobby at 5:45 to walk next door to local bbq restaurant for dinner.
 Evening: Lecture on "Meriwether Lewis-- A Different Perspective" by Jesse Francis, Curator from Faust Park.
Accommodations: Country Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Old Courthouse in St. Louis for Dred Scott Case reenactment; Gateway Arch & Westward Expansion Museum; Campbell House Museum; Lecture on "Setting the Stage-The Louisiana Purchase & Corp of Discovery" by Prof. Debra Crank-Lewis of SCC.
(Monday, September 9)

Note: 35 steps to court reenactment in Old Courthouse (no elevator available due to historic nature of facility); walking down paved path and steps required to reach Gateway Arch. Steps and standing required at Campbell House Museum.

 Breakfast: Country Inn and Suites Breakfast Buffet
 Morning: Experience a significant part of U.S. history during a visit to the Old Courthouse, built between 1839 and 1862. The Courthouse is the site where an enslaved husband and wife, Dred and Harriet Scott, sued for their freedom, and Virginia Minor sued for a woman's right to vote in 1872. Embrace history in restored courtrooms and view exhibits and murals depicting historic events. Relive the Dred Scott court case in a reenactment where you become judge and jury.
 Lunch: Lunch at Square One Brewery in Historic Lafayette Park. This redeveloped area of St. Louis is known for its' beautiful neighborhood park and Victorian "Painted Lady" houses.
 Afternoon: Step back in time at the Campbell House Museum. This museum opened in 1943, transferring directly from family ownership to the museum. This preserved not only the Campbell's house but also their collection of original furniture, fixtures, paintings, objects, and thousands of pages of family documents. Included in these documents is a unique album of 60 photographs of the interior of the house from 1885. It looks much the same today as it did in these photographs.
 Afternoon: As you walk to the arch this afternoon, you can stop at the Old Cathedral, site of the oldest Catholic parish west of the Mississippi, and location of the baptism of Sacagawea's son. The Arch is a national monument build as a tribute to Thomas Jefferson and all those pioneers for who St. Louis was the Gateway to the West. Travel to the top of this 630 foot high stainless steel structure for amazing views of the Gateway City, the Mighty Mississippi, and neighboring Illinois. Or choose to keep your feet on the ground and view "Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West". See the adventures of Lewis and Clark on The4 Odyssey Theatre's giant four-story screen. A National Geographic movie, narrated by Jeff Bridges, this film takes you with Lewis and Clark to explore the uncharted lands of the Louisiana Purchase and beyond. While at the Arch, you will have time to travel step-by-step with Lewis and Clark on their journey at the interactive Museum of Westward Expansion.
 Dinner: Enjoy a catered dinner at our host college, St. Charles Community College.
 Evening: Professor Debra Crank-Lewis has been a part of the Road Scholar program since 1992, presenting over 80 times. You will listen to her expert pre-Lewis and Clark lecture on "Setting the Stage -- The Louisiana Purchase and Corps of Discovery".
Accommodations: Country Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Visit White Haven, home to Ulysses and Julia Grant, and Jefferson Barracks, oldest military installation West of the Mississippi River.
(Tuesday, September 10)

Note: Walking and standing required at both museums.

 Breakfast: Country Inn and Suites Breakfast Buffet
 Morning: Visit White Haven, one of Julia and Ulysses Grant's homes. This National Historic Site encompasses nearly 10 acres of the 10,000-acre plantation that was the childhood home to the couple. The site allows you to experience 19th-century country life first-hand. The on-site museum looks at Grant from a unique perspective introducing visitors to Ulysses, Julia, and the people who lived at the plantation as individuals. It presents White Haven as a microcosm of the issues that faced the nation in the mid 19th-century.
 Lunch: Lunch on the road at a popular buffet.
 Afternoon: Jefferson Barracks was the first permanent military installation to be located west of the Mississippi River and was established in 1826 to provide support for smaller forts on the upper reaches of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. We will visit the park and enjoy a lecture on spy codes and medicine during the Civil War.
 Dinner: Catered dinner in breakfast area of hotel.
 Evening: Optional viewing of "Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West" for those who did not view it at the Gateway Arch.
Accommodations: Country Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Explore historic St. Charles, including the Lewis and Clark Boathouse to see replicas of the Keel Boat and red and white pirogues. Enjoy lecture, "The Underground Railroad, The Freedom Quilt Project", presented by Jan Lucas.
(Wednesday, September 11)
 Breakfast: Country Inn and Suites Buffet Breakfast.
 Morning: We will begin the morning with a step-on tour of Main Street in St. Charles. Learn about St. Charles as it was during the time of Lewis and Clark. From there, we will proceed to the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center to hear a lecture on the expedition and view replicas of the Keel Boat and red and white pirogues.
 Lunch: Lunch at local winery on Main Street in St. Charles.
 Afternoon: "The Underground Railroad, The Freedom Quilt Project", lecture presented by Jan Lucas.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own tonight.
 Evening: No evening program.
Accommodations: Country Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Visit Hannibal, Missouri, boyhood home to Mark Twain. Let Twain's stories come to life as you take a riverboat cruise down the very river he describes in his stories.
(Thursday, September 12)
 Breakfast: Early breakfast at hotel buffet 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. Begin by visiting Mark Twain's boyhood home (expect to meet two special visitors!) Travel down the street to the Mark Twain Museum to hear a lecture by Henry Sweets, curator of the museum, on "The Softer Side of Twain". In this museum, you can also view a collection of original Norman Rockwell Paintings.
 Lunch: Mark Twain Riverboat - Enjoy lunch while cruising on Old Man River. (If you any reason Riverboat cannot cruise, we do an alternate lunch and visit Mark Twain's Cave).
 Afternoon: Explore on your own. Opportunities to visit the Hannibal Museum, Norman Rockwell paintings at the museum, the Becky Thatcher ice cream parlor and bookstore, or shop the unique shops in Hannibal.
 Dinner: Dinner in route to hotel at Cracker Barrel restaurant.
 Evening: Come to the Breakfast Room and take on all challengers at Trivia Night! Topics will include Mark Twain, Lewis & Clark, and the Civil War, and maybe some bonus questions about St. Louis,
Accommodations: Country Inn & Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: We will wrap up our studies with a lecture on the "Guerrillas in Civil War Missouri" by author Jim Erwin. Followed by program closing.
(Friday, September 13)

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

 Breakfast: Country Inn and Suites Buffet Breakfast.
 Morning: We will have a final lecture on "Guerrillas in Civil War Missouri", by author Jim Erwin, followed by a wrap up session and closing. Departure will be between 10:30 and 11:00.
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.

Collections of a Civil War Trivia Junkie

Author: John A. Nischwitz

Description: Collections of a Civil War Trivia Junkie is the ultimate fact-finding book for Civil War enthusiasts all over the country. With 280 pages of fascinating facts and figures about the Civil War, this book brings to light many details about the Civil War that have seldom, if ever, been addressed. John A. Nischwitz, who has prepared Civil War trivia questions for the Civil War Roundtable in St. Louis, Missouri for over fifteen years, is a true Civil War junkie. During this time, John has accumulated a wealth of information about the Civil War, and he shares that information in this book which includes over 1,000 trivia questions and answers, along with 100 pages of lists including, but not limited to Confederate Vessels, Horses, Prisons, Alternate Battle Names, Nicknames, Wounds, Women, Wives and Paramours, and Many, Many More... Additionally, this amazing book is full of over 150 high quality, thought-provoking photographs, the majority of which were taken directly from the Library of Congress. These photos provide a living picture of the challenges and hardships that were endured by our ancestors who lived and served during the years of the Civil War. This incredible book arrives as our country recognizes its Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Civil War.

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.

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.

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: In this sweeping adventure story, Stephen E. Ambrose presents the definitive account of one of the most momentous journeys in American history. 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 pristinely 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.

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.

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