The expedition departs on the Missouri River, encountering many new plants, animals, and native cultures along the way. Explore the dates below for big events in 1804.

May 14
The expedition departs from Camp Wood, Missouri, traveling in a keelboat and two smaller boats. To read excerpts of Lewis and Clark's journals, click on "Setting Forth."

August 2
The first official meeting takes place between the expedition and a group of Oto Native Americans in the territory that is now Nebraska.

August 20
Sergeant Charles Floyd dies of a burst appendix near Sioux City, Iowa.

September 7
The expedition unsuccessfully attempts to capture a prairie dog by pouring water down its hole.

September 25
Fighting almost breaks out when a group of Teton Sioux Native Americans demands one of the expedition's boats as payment for traveling upriver. Chief Black Buffalo helps resolve the argument.

October 24-25
They reach the Mandan Villages in North Dakota and are welcomed by the Mandan Native Americans. They decide to build their winter camp there and name it "Fort Mandan."

November 4
Charbonneau and Sacagawea join the expedition as interpreters and guides. Sacagawea became one of the most famous members of the Corps.

December 7
Lewis and fifteen men join in their first buffalo hunt.

Continue to see the trail today.

Congratulations, you have found one of the objects for the specimen box! For more information on this activity, click here.

One of the animals Lewis and Clark encountered was herds of buffalo. Click here to add the buffalo to your specimen box or click here for a printable version.