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Mercy! Mercy Street is Coming…

By Kris Gilbertson On Sunday, January 17, 2016, Mercy Street, a Civil War-era drama set in Alexandria, will debut on PBS. It will air at 10:00 p.m., after Downton Abbey. Beginning in the spring of 1862, Mercy Street follows the lives of two volunteer nurses from opposite worlds and political persuasions: Mary Phinney, a staunch […]

Inspiration for Mercy Street: A Conversation with Sarah Coster

Alexandrian Sarah Coster was the Director of Carlyle House museum during the Civil War sesquicentennial in 2011. Her research into events at Carlyle House and the Mansion House Hospital during the Civil War provided a base upon which the Mercy Street series was built. Kris Gilbertson interviewed Sarah in December 2015. I’m told that you […]

Beyond Mercy Street— The Rest of Alexandria During the Civil War

By Kris Gilbertson Mercy Street portrays the interactions of two Civil War nurses, one from New England, the other Virginia, at the real Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria. The series is not about conflict on the battlefield; rather, it dramatizes the extraordinary challenges ordinary people faced behind the frontlines. But there is more to understanding […]

Contraband – The Path from Bound to Free

By Kris Gilbertson PBS and various production companies (Lone Wolf, Dave Zabel, and David Zucker) that collaborated on Mercy Street carefully researched the history and conditions in Civil War Alexandria. They assembled an impressive team of technical advisors, headed by historian James McPherson, which included Audrey Davis, director of the Alexandria Black History Museum. Lisa […]

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