City that Inspired PBS Civil War Medical Drama
Announces New Visitor Experiences
Personal Stories of Union and Confederacy Converge in City Setting
PBS’ first American drama in nearly a decade is inspired by true stories of Civil War Alexandria, Virginia. This historic city will celebrate the unprecedented national spotlight on its heritage by presenting new visitor experiences for fans of the upcoming PBS series, MERCY STREET. Premiering on Sunday, January 17, 2016, at 10:00 PM, MERCY STREET will follow the final season of “Downton Abbey” on Masterpiece. The six-episode series takes viewers beyond the battlefield and into the lives of Americans on the Civil War home front.
More than two dozen new tours, exhibits and events have been planned in Alexandria, kicking off in January 2016 when the show debuts.
Set in 1862, MERCY STREET follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict; 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.
Just outside of Washington, D.C., Alexandria was a border town between North and South and the longest Union-occupied city of the Civil War. Ruled under martial law, Alexandria was the melting pot of the region, filled with soldiers, civilians, female volunteers, doctors, wounded fighting men from both sides, speculators, spies, and African American refugees.
Today, visitors can get a close look at the story at Alexandria’s historic sites, with new visitor experiences launching in 2016. Visitor experiences 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.
HIGHLIGHTS OF NEW VISITOR EXPERIENCES COMING IN 2016 INCLUDE:
• MERCY STREET-inspired tours of Alexandria, featuring stories and sites that inspired the show
• “Explore the Real Mansion House” event, with an exclusive opportunity to step inside the former Mansion House hospital
• “Who These Wounded Are: The Extraordinary Stories of the Mansion House Hospital” exhibit at Carlyle House, once the Green family home, featuring a new interpretation of period hospital rooms and doctor/officer housing, plus stories of nurse Mary Phinney and spy Frank Stringfellow
• “Green Family Exhibit” at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, featuring purchases and stories of the Green family and Union Quartermaster staff
• “The Journey to be Free: Self-emancipation and Alexandria’s Contraband Heritage” exhibit at the Alexandria Black History Museum, telling the story of thousands of African Americans who escaped slavery and sought refuge behind Union lines in Alexandria
• “Have Mercy” hotel package at Monaco Alexandria, a Kimpton Hotel, including deluxe accommodation with modern Civil War-inspired décor at the historically significant location, two throwback Civil War-era handcrafted cocktails, two tickets to Carlyle House Historic Park, and 5 percent donation to the American Red Cross
Located on the Potomac River waterfront just minutes from D.C., Alexandria hums with a cosmopolitan feel against an extraordinary historic backdrop. With luxurious accommodations just steps from historic sites, galleries, boutiques and restaurants, visitors can turn a “Mercy Street” excursion into a weekend getaway.
Find Alexandria experiences inspired by PBS’ MERCY STREET at this link.