(Photo Via PBS- www.pbs.org/mercy-street/home)
The return of MERCY STREET Season 2 on PBS has the NOVA area buzzing. Based out of Alexandria, the series dives into stories inspired by real events to produce an anticipated drama of Civil War Medicine around the nation’s capital in the 1800’s. The program follows the lives of two nurses on opposing sides of the renowned conflict between North and South. Sides clash when the two nurses come face to face at Mansion House, the Green family’s luxury hotel that has been transformed into a Union Army Hospital in Alexandria, VA.
Visit this historic yet revolutionary city as it hosts new and existing tours alongside interactive events highlighting the exciting return of MERCY STREET and all of the intriguing locations as seen on TV. Eight MERCY STREET- inspired tours, including interactive and walking attractions, will be offered by land and a few by water. Tours will be lead by well-known locals DC Military Tours, Alexandria Colonial Tours, the Lee-Fendall House, and The National Women’s History Museum.
With its pristine location rich with history, excellent shopping, and waterfront views, Alexandria is the perfect place to turn your MERCY STREET excursion into an unforgettable weekend getaway. Enjoy a weekend away at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco and experience the life inside MERCY STREET with their “Have Mercy” package- details here! Or call- 703-549-6080.
Find Alexandria experiences inspired by PBS’ MERCY STREET at
VISITOR EXPERIENCE DETAILS
Mercy in Alexandria Walking Tour
Public tour every Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (additional tour times coming soon)
Additional tours by appointment
Tour starts at Alexandria Visitors Center, 221 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314
DC Military Tours
Experience an inside access tour of 19th century Alexandria. Inspired by the PBS mini-series “Mercy Street,” accompany a trained military historian through Civil War-era Alexandria and learn the actual history behind the TV show. Get behind-the-scenes stories of locations where “Mercy Street” characters lived, worked and played.
“The Mercy Walk” Guided Tour
March 25, 26, 27 & April 1, 2, 3, 2016 at 2:30 p.m.
Alexandria Colonial Tours
Walk the same streets as the Green family and all of your favorite characters from “Mercy Street.”
Based on the PBS series, “Mercy Street,” Alexandria’s “The Mercy Walk” tour will give visitors and locals alike a feel for Alexandria and what it was like to live in an occupied city during the Civil War. This tour includes stops at the former Marshall House, the Confederate Statue, James Green’s furniture factory and the only portion of the Mansion House Hotel still standing today. Join us to hear the true stories of Alexandria, a true microcosm of the Civil War all within one city. Space is limited!
Contrabands & Freedmen Cemetery Memorial Tour
April 2, 2016 at 10 a.m.
Office of Historic Alexandria and the Alexandria Black History Museum
1001 S. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Join City Archaeologist Fran Bromberg and Black History Museum Director and PBS’ “Mercy Street” history consultant Audrey Davis as you learn about the history of contrabands buried in the cemetery, the fascinating archaeology behind its rediscovery, and how the site became a memorial.
Medical Heroism in Alexandria: Tour by Land and Water
April 2016 through Columbus Day; 2nd Saturday and 4th Friday of each month
Saturday tours at 2 p.m.; Friday tours at 3 p.m.
Start at the Alexandria City Marina
DC Military Tours
Explore the “Mercy Street” story by land and by water on this guided tour of Civil War Alexandria. Accompany a trained military historian from DC Military Tours by boat through Alexandria’s 19th-century seaport and then by land for an inside access look at period sites depicted on “Mercy Street,” including a Civil War hospital and other parts of the city’s Civil War landscape.
Beyond the Battlefield Walking Tour
May 14, July 9, September 10 & November 12, 2016
Tour starts at The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Discover the real-life stories and locations of soldiers, citizens and former slaves that inspired the PBS drama “Mercy Street” in this walking tour of Old Town. Discover the challenges, triumphs and controversies of life behind the front lines in an occupied city during the Civil War. See the locations of hospitals, hotels, prisons and more that filled Alexandria during four years of conflict. Tour length is three hours and the route is approximately 1.75 miles. Parking is not available at The Lyceum’s lot for this program.
Women of Civil War Alexandria Tour
Presented by the National Women’s History Museum
June to October 2016
Alexandria was in a unique position during the Civil War. It was a city with Southern sympathies continuously occupied by the Union Army and virtually operating as a Northern supply depot due to its proximity to Washington, DC and its transportation infrastructure. The women who remained in Alexandria and those who came during occupation experienced the War not as a battle but a day-to-day way of life. This tour will explore the stories of a diverse group of women and their experiences living in Civil War Alexandria.
Occupied City: Civil War Alexandria Self-Guided Tour
The Lyceum-Alexandria’s History Museum
201 S. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Fans of PBS’ “Mercy Street” drama series will learn about the real history behind the show on this self-guided walking tour, which features significant Civil War Alexandria sites all within walking distance of The Lyceum, which was seized and used as a hospital during the war.
Ivy Hill Cemetery Self-Guided Tour
2823 Kings Cloister Circle, Alexandria, VA 22302
Ivy Hill Cemetery presents a self-guided tour on the Green family and Frank Stringfellow, who are featured in the PBS drama “Mercy Street.” Chartered in 1856, Ivy Hill Cemetery is the final resting place of the Green family and Frank Stringfellow. Guided tours will be available upon request. Maps for self-guided tours are available at the Ivy Hill Cemetery office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also available for download from Ivy Hill Cemetery’s website.
Who These Wounded Are: The Extraordinary Stories of the Mansion House Hospital
Carlyle House Historic Park
121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314
From 1861-1865, the U.S. Army used Carlyle House, then the home of Emma Green and her family, and the adjacent Mansion House Hotel as a hospital and staff quarters. The people who lived and worked at this site in Alexandria and their real life stories have inspired the PBS television show, “Mercy Street.” The owner of the house and hotel, James Green, was one of the richest men in town and made a deep historical footprint on Alexandria.
Carlyle House’s exhibit features the factual story of the history of the site and its occupants. Upstairs, a new interpretation will explore the lives of these individuals through period hospital rooms and doctor/officer housing.
Green Family Exhibit
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
January to May 2016
107 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314
The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary remained open and operational when Alexandria was occupied during the Civil War. The Green family and Union Quartermaster staff shopped there to purchase everything from laudanum to cologne. Today, visitors can take a guided tour and experience the historic space where occupied Alexandria came to shop. The exhibit features the purchases and stories of the Green family and the Union Quartermaster.
The Journey to be Free: Self-emancipation and Alexandria’s Contraband Heritage
Alexandria Black History Museum
Exhibit extended through May 8, 2016
902 Wythe St., Alexandria, VA 22314
During the Civil War, thousands of African Americans escaping slavery sought refuge behind Union lines in Alexandria, Virginia. The fugitives found freedom in Alexandria, but also a city under siege. The influx overwhelmed the city. Rampant disease and deprivation took their toll on the freedmen. A cemetery was created for those who had survived slavery, but did not live long in freedom. “The Journey to be Free” shows the legacy of Alexandria’s contraband community and the amazing story of their burial ground that was lost and rediscovered, now memorialized as the Contraband and Freedmen Cemetery.
Hotel vs. Hospital Exhibit
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
134 N. Royal St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Learn the story of the fine hotel industry in Alexandria and how it quickly changed after the Civil War began. The City Hotel (today part of Gadsby’s Tavern Museum) was the only major hotel in Alexandria to remain open during the entirety of the war. The two other fine hotels in town, Mansion House and Marshall House, had closed. Guests will discover how tavernkeeper Samuel Heflebower was able to remain in business as he catered to the new customers in town.
“Mercy Street”-Inspired: The Alexandria Back Story
Kate Waller Barrett Branch Library
717 Queen St., Alexandria, VA 22314
The Alexandria Library’s Special Collections played an integral role in providing historically accurate research and information to the creators of PBS’ “Mercy Street.” Today, visitors can view these rare, one-of-a-kind articles, ads and other materials illustrating the particular challenges of living in Alexandria during the Civil War in a special exhibit at the Kate Waller Barrett Branch Library in Old Town.
Medical Care for the Civil War Soldier Exhibit
Fort Ward Museum
4301 West Braddock Rd., Alexandria, VA 22304
Fort Ward Museum has an ongoing exhibit that features original medical instruments and equipment from the Civil War period and information on Union Army hospital sites in Alexandria.
Alexandria’s Nurses & Hospitals During the Civil War
The Lyceum—Alexandria’s History Museum
201 S. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314
The Lyceum mounts an exhibit on the life of Clarissa Jones, a nurse at The Lyceum hospital during the Civil War. It will bring home to visitors the true story of an actual nurse in Alexandria during the war, drawing parallels with characters portrayed in the PBS drama “Mercy Street.” It will include references to the experiences of other Alexandria nurses at that time, such as Anne Reading, who actually worked in the Mansion House Hospital, and Jane Woolsey, who served at the Fairfax Seminary Hospital.
Mercy Street Uncovered: Archaeology in Alexandria
Alexandria Archaeology Museum
105 N. Union St., Studio #327, Alexandria, VA 22314
Exhibits include dioramas and period objects found during excavations, including a musket that was still cocked and loaded. For families, “meet” a Civil War drummer boy and try to decode a letter from a Southern spy.
Speak, Sister: Alexandrian Women’s Songs and Stories of the Civil War
March 10, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Local actors will read from diaries and letters of women who lived in Alexandria during the Civil War, and award-winning bluegrass band Dead Men’s Hollow will play songs of the Civil War.
Beyond the Call of Duty: Roles and Responsibilities of Civil War Nurses Lecture
Co-sponsored by Carlyle House and The Lyceum
March 29, 2016 at 7 p.m.
The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $10; reservation required
Join Chris Foard MSN, RN (The Foard Collection of Civil War Nursing) for an in depth lecture on the diverse practices of male and female Civil War nurses. Discussion includes an important but largely neglected aspect of Civil War nursing—roles and responsibilities of nurses in relation to current practices of today. Lecture is based on historical analysis from letters, documents, books and diaries from The Foard Collection of Civil War Nursing. This event is co-sponsored by Carlyle House Historic Park (NOVA Parks) and The Lyceum (Office of Historic Alexandria) and will take place at The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington Street. Reservations are recommended. To order tickets, visit:https://apm.activecommunities.com/novaparks/Activity_Search/464.
Civil War Medicine Living History
April 23, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Rain date: April 30
Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site, 4301 West Braddock Rd., Alexandria, VA 22304
Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site will sponsor a Civil War medical living history program presented by Civil War medical historian and interpreter Von Barron, who portrays U.S. Army Regimental Surgeon Captain Turner Kitt in a field hospital setting that features a variety of medical tools and equipment of the era.
Civil War Ball
April 30, 2016 from 8-11 p.m.
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N Royal St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $45 in advance; reservations required
Enjoy an evening from the 1860s in the historic ballroom at the Civil War Ball. The ball will include live music, dance instruction and period desserts. Period attire, either civilian or military, is encouraged. Dance classes for the ball will be held January 7, 14 and 21 from 7:30-9:30 p.m.Cost is $12 per class or $30 for the series.
Spies & Scones – A Special “History Mystery” Tea
May 21, 2016
Lee-Fendall House, 614 Oronoco St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Alexandria was filled with spies and during the Civil War. Enjoy a Victorian tea, learn about real life secret agents like Frank Stringfellow (portrayed in the PBS drama “Mercy Street,” then put your own powers of detection to the test to discover the spy in the room!
Surgeons & Citizens, Spirits & Soldiers
October 8, 2016
Lee-Fendall House, 614 Oronoco St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Explore how Americans dealt with the tragedy of the Civil War in this living history program. Visit a soldier facing his own death in a hospital. See a casket displayed in proper Victorian style, surrounded by the grieving family and friends of a lost loved one. Listen as a spiritualist tries to sell her services to those in need of hope and closure.
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