A PBS Original Series | Mercy Street
Last Updated by
Watch on WMHT-TV | Click here for the Mercy Street show page and airdates
Set in Virginia in the spring of 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, a border town between North and South and the longest-occupied Confederate city of the war. Ruled under martial law, Alexandria is now the melting pot of the region, filled with soldiers, civilians, female volunteers, doctors, wounded fighting men from both sides, runaway slaves, prostitutes, speculators and spies.
The intersection of North and South within the confines of a small occupied town creates a rich world that is chaotic, conflicted, corrupt, dynamic and even hopeful — a cauldron within which these characters strive, fight, love, laugh, betray, sacrifice and, at times, act like scoundrels. This series is not about battles and glory, it’s about the drama and unexpected humor of everyday life behind the front lines. It’s a fresh twist on an iconic story, one that resonates with larger themes we still struggle with today.
The New Nurse
New England nurse Mary Phinney begins her duties 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.
Confederate belle Emma nurses her wounded friend. Dr. Foster wrestles with his marriage and career as Mary tries to improve her patients’ lives with Samuel’s help. Aurelia submits to Silas’ advances in exchange for his help.
Dr. Foster confronts his family’s divided loyalties when his mother and wounded Confederate brother arrive. Alice is shocked to find her fiancé, Tom, deeply changed by war. Samuel and Aurelia try to persuade a slave boy to seize a chance at freedom.
The Belle Alliance
During a Union ball at their house, the Green girls and Frank initiate a daring plan to help Tom escape. Mary releases Dr. Foster, still shaky from his detox, from his “quarantine” so he can guide Samuel through a delicate operation.
The Dead Room
The unexpected visit of a hospital inspector throws the staff into disarray. Mary feels empathy for a deserter, while Silas makes Samuel pay for his arrogance. A family tragedy forces James Sr. to take a risky step to earn his family’s respect.
The Diabolical Plot
President Lincoln’s visit sets in motion a diabolical rebel plot and offers an opportunity to free James Sr. Dr. Foster uncovers a scheme to undermine him at the expense of his patients. Aurelia recovered from her surgery makes a bold decision.