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Mercy Street

Mercy Street

Photo Credit:  PBS
  • Premiered: 
    January 17, 2016
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: PBS
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Based on the real events of the Civil War 
  • Subject Matter: Medical
  • Tags: Civil War

Buy This Show on DVD or Watch Online

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  • Complete Series
    • Amazon
  • Complete Series [Blu-ray]
    • Amazon
  • Season 2
    • Amazon
  • Season 2 [Blu-ray]
    • Amazon
Legal Full Episodes
Not Available Online
(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

Inspired by memoirs and letters from real doctors and nurse volunteers at Mansion House Hospital, this Civil War-based drama series reveals the stories of those struggling to save lives while managing their own hardships. Shot in Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, MERCY STREET follows the lives of two volunteer nurses -- New England abolitionist Mary Phinney and Confederate supporter Emma Green -- on opposing sides of the Civil War, while revealing the trials and tribulations of doctors, nurses, contraband laborers and Southern loyalists in the early years of the War to Make Men Free. The Green family's luxury hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, has been transformed into Mansion House, a Union Army hospital tending to the war's wounded, where newcomer Mary is a feisty New Englander and widow and Dr. Jed Foster is a civilian contract surgeon after having grown up in a privileged slave-owning household as the son of a wealthy Maryland landowner. Other characters include: Samuel Diggs, a black laborer harboring a secret knowledge and ability in medicine, which he learned as a boy servant; Dr. Byron Hale, an old-school army surgeon who lives life by the book; Nurse Anne Hastings, whose claim to fame is her experience working with Florence Nightingale in the Crimean; Aurelia Johnson, a beautiful, stoical 'contraband' working as a laundress at the hospital; Dr. Alfred Summers, chief surgeon at Mansion House, who has risen to the rank of major by virtue of his age, not skill; James Green Sr., patriarch of the Green family, who is struggling to maintain his family business while living in an occupied city; and Alice Green, Emma's younger sister, who at first is frivolous and naive, becomes the most radicalized member of the family. The writers and producers of MERCY STREET, the first American drama to air on PBS in more than a decade, depicted a realistic and accurate account of this era by collaborating with historians and medical experts, including James M. McPherson; Dr. Stanley Burns; Shauna Devine; Jane Schultz; George Wunderlich, director of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine; Audrey Davis, director of the Alexandria Black History Museum; and Anya Jabour. Season 2 of MERCY STREET, which premiered on Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 8pm on PBS (check local listings), picks up directly from the dramatic events at the end of the first season finale, continuing to explore life in the chaotic city of 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 black population. The second season introduces a number of new elements, taking the viewer closer to the war and into the halls of Confederate power, all set against the intensifying war, starting with the Seven Days' Battle and culminating with Antietam. The new season also delves deeper into the lives of newly freed African Americans, exploring -- among other areas -- life in a contraband camp, where formerly enslaved African Americans are forced to confront horrific living conditions and disease, but also get a glimpse of freedom.
On Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 8pm (check local listings), PBS premiered the Season 2 finale of MERCY STREET. In the season ender, "House of Bondage," the Greens suffer a setback and Pinkerton's inquiry heats up after Antietam. Foster and Samuel visit Foster's family plantation, where they intervene in a difficult labor. The hospital staff unites to oust their hated chief. In Boston, Mary's condition worsens.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Sawbone Films
  • Produced by Scott Free Productions


  • - Virginia USA