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Mercy Street Inspired Experiences

Spring Tours, Costume Exhibit and More Bring PBS’ Mercy… We've rolled out a new exhibit of costumes from the show plus 12 tours inspired by the series. Learn More ›
Exhibits and Events Experience the MERCY STREET story up close at the historic sites where the real-life soldiers, doctors and nurses depicted in the series worked and… Relive the Stories ›
The Real Mansion House From PBS’ MERCY STREET In real life, the idea for MERCY STREET also began with the Mansion House, today known as the Carlyle House. Learn More ›
Top 4 MERCY STREET Inspired Sites to Visit Explore the sites where the stories in the PBS MERCY STREET drama actually happened. Visit the Sites ›
MERCY STREET-inspired Guided Tours Alexandria has some extraordinary MERCY STREET inspired tours for those who prefer an in-depth and personalized experience. Learn More ›
Self-Guided Tour Fans of MERCY STREET can venture out on their own on this self-guided walking tour and immerse themselves in the real sites and stories of Civil War… Take the Tour ›
Videos: Behind-the-Scenes with the MERCY STREET Cast Watch interviews with the cast of MERCY STREET talk about the show and visiting the real sites that inspired the PBS drama. View Videos ›
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Civil War Cultural Customs

Viewers and visitors getting to know the rich history of Alexandria during the Civil War can explore a variety of cultural customs, including the fashion, food and music of the era, through a variety of events in the city.

Civil War Era Medicine and Hospitals

The Union Army occupied Alexandria from the first days of the Civil War to the last, transforming homes, churches and public buildings into military hospitals to accommodate the flood of wounded and diseased soldiers. By the end of the war, more than 30 Federal hospitals and 6,500 sick beds were located in Alexandria. Today, visitors to Alexandria can see where Union doctors shopped for supplies at Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum and explore former Civil War hospitals at historic sites.

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Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary was able to operate and remain open during occupied Alexandria. The Green Family and Union hospital staff shopped here to purchase everything from Laudanum to Cologne.

 


 

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African American Experience

During the Civil War, thousands of African Americans escaping slavery sought refuge behind Union lines in Alexandria. The fugitives found freedom in Alexandria, but also a city under siege. Still, despite rampant disease and deprivation, by the end of the war they had fought for their own liberation and built communities and lives afresh. Learn about the legacy of Alexandria’s contraband community and the amazing story of their lost and rediscovered burial ground at the Alexandria Black History Museum, Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial, the Archaeology Museum and other historic sites.

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Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial

Between 1864 and 1869, the Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery served as the burial place for about 1,800 African Americans who fled to Union-occupied Alexandria to escape from bondage.


 

Women and the Civil War

Mary Phinney von Olnhausen arrived in Alexandria in August 1862 and was assigned to the Mansion House Hospital, the city's largest military hospital. Most of the women assigned to hospitals at this time had little or no experience with nursing, but they wanted to serve their country and do something to help ease the enormous suffering from disease and battlefield wounds during the conflict.  They often taught themselves nursing under adverse circumstances, including active hostility from the surgeons they worked with, and helped to create a profession that did not exist before the war.

The Real Women Who Inspired PBS’ MERCY STREET Take a deeper look into the lives of the the real women who inspired the MERCY STREET characters. Learn More ›
Alexandria’s Nurses & Hospitals During the Civil War. Photo:… Learn the true stories of actual nurses in Alexandria during the war. See the Exhibit ›