PBS Mercy Street- an Alexandria Field Trip


Set in Alexandria, Virginia in 1862, the show revolves around two nurses who serve at the Mansion House Hospital- a Union Army Hospital. This city was torn between the North and South- representative of a cross-section of the population during the war.

PBS launched two seasons of a Civil War drama based on true events- Mercy Street. It is one of the first American dramas from the network in over a decade. 

Set in Alexandria, Virginia in 1862, the show revolves around two nurses who serve at the Mansion House Hospital- a Union Army Hospital. This city was torn between the North and South- representative of a cross-section of the population during the war. 

Since the show is based on actual events; there are a number of sites mentioned on the show that are available for visitors to experience. 

Carlyle House Historic Park

The Green Family Property- called the "Mansion House" and their hotel was taken by the Federal troops to use as a Union hospital. In the beginning of Season 1, the viewers can see Nurse Mary Phinney and Dr. Jed Foster working in the hospital, already transformed, treating Union and Confederate soldiers. The house was bought by the Green family in 1848. For More Information

Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

This preserved historical location is where the Green family came for most of their shopping needs, both in real life and on Mercy Street. Visitors are able to take guided tours of where not only the Green family shopped, but also where the Union Quartermasters purchased much of their supplies as well. (I had my daughter's Harry Potter themed birthday party there; the original furnishings haven't changed over time). For More Information

Alexandria Black History Museum

Alexandria was a prime location for many slaves who were looking for refuge during the 1800's. Unfortunately, the area was not able to accommodate the masses and many of their lives ended from disease or poverty. During the Civil War, and as seen on Mercy Street, many black slaves were just getting their taste of freedom and were taking up jobs as laborers. The Alexandria Black History Museum was originally a segregated library for African Americans. A Contraband and Freedman (by the way, I am "offended" by being defined as "Contraband") Cemetery located near the museum was a recently discovered site that revealed a large burial ground where the slaves were buried during this time. For More Information 

Fort Ward

During the Civil War, Fort Ward was one of the protective forces of the Washington, D.C. area. The area today still features the original earth work wall that stood during the Civil War. Today you can find a number of artifacts that date back to the same era as Mercy Street. Weapons, uniforms, tools and even some of the medical care tools that were used on the soldiers area ll on exhibit. For More Information

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