Beyond the front lines of the Civil War

Jul 4, 2018

MERCY STREETDrama - Inspired by real people and events, Mercy Street takes viewers beyond the battlefield and into the lives of Americans on the Civil War home front.

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"Mercy Street" tells the story of doctors, nurses, contraband laborers and Southern loyalists in Union-occupied Alexandria, Va., during the Civil War. The plot centers on two nurses on opposing sides of the war who volunteer at the Mansion House Hospital. Characters include nurse Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Jedediah Foster (Josh Radnor), James Green Sr. (Gary Cole), Dr. Alfred Summers (Peter Gerety) and Emma Green (Hannah James). Filmed on location in Virginia, the series is based on real people and real events and marks the first American drama to air on PBS in more than a decade.

Set in Virginia in the spring of 1862, Mercy Street follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict: Nurse Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a staunch New England abolitionist, and Emma Green (Hannah James), a naive young Confederate belle. The two collide at Mansion House, the Green family’s luxury hotel that has been taken over and transformed into a Union Army hospital in Alexandria, a border town between North and South and the longest Union occupied city of the war. Ruled under martial law, Alexandria served as the melting pot of the region: with soldiers, civilians, female volunteers, doctors, wounded fighting men from both sides, runaway slaves, prostitutes, speculators and spies.

 THE NEW NURSE - A New England nurse begins her duties in a Union hospital in an occupied Southern city. 


Mercy Street, Nurse Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead)
Credit PBS

New England nurse Mary Phinney navigates her first day in Mansion House, a hotel turned Union hospital in an occupied Southern town. Mansion House owner James Sr. struggles to preserve the family fortune as daughter Emma secretly searches for her beau.