Come see the site that inspired PBS’ Mercy Street
PBS’ new series Mercy Street is inspired by real events that took place at Carlyle House Historic Park in Alexandria, Virginia. Mercy Street premiered on Sunday, January 17, 2016, at 10 p.m., and garnered rave reviews. The six-episode program revolves around the doctors, nurses, and patients of Mansion House Hospital, a former luxury hotel owned by James Green, a prominent Alexandria businessman featured in the series. Other real-life characters include Mary Phinney, a Union nurse, and Emma Green, James Green’s daughter. Emma’s future husband and Confederate spy, Benjamin Franklin Stringfellow, also appears in the program.
James Green purchased Carlyle House and the adjacent Bank of Alexandria in 1848. While living in Carlyle House with his family, he converted the Bank Building into the successful Mansion House Hotel. The hotel thrived, and Green expanded it in the 1850s. In November of 1861, the Union Army took over both the hotel and the mansion, turning the hotel into a hospital and the house into doctor and officer housing. The Union occupied the site until the war ended in 1865.
The new exhibit tells the true stories of those who lived and worked here during the war. This is where Mercy Street really happened.