Mercy Street
Courtesy of Antony Platt/PBS

Based on real events, Mercy Street takes viewers beyond the battlefield and into the lives of Americans on the Civil War home front as they face the unprecedented challenges of one of the most turbulent times in our nation’s history.

Set in Virginia in the spring of 1862, Mercy Street follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict: Nurse 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 Union occupied city of the war. Ruled under martial law, Alexandria served as the melting pot of the region: 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 of war. It’s a fresh twist on an iconic story, one that resonates with larger themes we still struggle with today.

Cast and Creators

Mercy Street stars Josh Radnor as Dr. Jedediah Foster; Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Phinney; Gary Cole as James Green, Sr.; Hannah James as Emma Green; Brad Koed as James Green, Jr.; Norbert Leo Butz as Dr. Byron Hale; Tara Summers as Anne Hastings; McKinley Belcher III as Samuel Diggs; Shalita Grant as Aurelia Johnson; Peter Gerety as Chief Surgeon Alfred Summers; Jack Falahee as Frank Stringfellow; Anna Sophia Robb as Alice Green; Cameron Monaghan as Tom Fairfax; Donna Murphy as Jane Green; L. Scott Caldwell as Belinda; Suzanne Bertish as Hospital Matron Brannan; Wade Williams as Sillas Bullen; and Luke Macfarlane as Chaplain Hopkins.

The series is executive produced by Ridley Scott; with Lisa Q. Wolfinger, David Zabel and David W. Zucker of Scott Free.