PBS’ first American drama in a decade, MERCY STREET, is inspired by real events of Civil War Alexandria. Fans of the show are invited to explore the real sites and stories that inspired the show. Uncover the real people behind the characters on the show, the realities of Civil War medicine, changing roles for women, and the breakthrough experience of enslaved African Americans claiming their freedom.
MERCY STREET season one took place in the spring of 1862 just outside of Washington, D.C. in Alexandria, a border town between North and South and the longest Union-occupied city of the war. Ruled under martial law, Alexandria was the central melting pot of the region, filled with civilians, female volunteers, doctors, wounded soldiers from both sides, free blacks, enslaved and contraband (escaped enslaved people living behind Union lines) African-Americans, speculators and spies. MERCY STREET follows the lives of all of these characters, who collide at Mansion House, the Green family’s luxury hotel, which has been taken over and transformed into a Union Army hospital. Catch up on season 1 by viewing on Amazon Prime or PBS.org.
MERCY STREET season two picks up directly from the dramatic events at the end of the season one finale, continuing to explore the growing chaos within Alexandria, the complicated interpersonal dynamics of Dr. Foster, Nurse Mary and the Mansion House staff, the increasingly precarious position of the Green family and the changing world of the burgeoning African-American population. The season will introduce a number of new elements, taking viewers closer to the fight and into the halls of Confederate power, all set against the intensifying war, starting with the Seven Days’ Battle and culminating with Antietam. Catch up on season 2 by viewing on Amazon Prime or PBS.org. DVDs are also for sale in the Alexandria Visitor Center, The Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum and other historic sites in Alexandria.