Mercy Street

Similar Stories of Freedpeople on ‘Mercy Street’ and in Tennessee

Posted by on March 6, 2017 at 8:00 am

By Rob DeHart Tennessee State Museum The Season 2 finale of Mercy Street ties up a number of plotlines while leaving a few lingering questions. One of the major themes of the series is how African Americans continued their march toward freedom and in telling these stories, Mercy Street also hits upon the main injustices […]

As on ‘Mercy Street,’ Artists Documented the Civil War in Tennessee

Posted by on February 20, 2017 at 8:00 am

By Rob DeHart Tennessee State Museum The second season of Mercy Street introduces the character of French anatomy artist Lisette Beaufort. Her primary job at the hospital is to create illustrations of patient wounds and medical procedures for publication in medical instruction books, but she also records poignant moments for the people of Mansion House. […]

Civil War-Era Prostitution on ‘Mercy Street’ and in Nashville

Posted by on February 6, 2017 at 8:00 am

By Rob DeHart Tennessee State Museum In episode three of Mercy Street, Dr. Foster and Nurse Hastings are sent to treat a Union Army officer for a sexually transmitted disease. The episode touches upon the prevalence of prostitution in occupied cities and military camps during the Civil War. Nashville not only experienced this problem, but […]

As on ‘Mercy Street,’ Spying and Smuggling Were Common in Civil War Tennessee

Posted by on January 30, 2017 at 8:00 am

By Rob DeHart Tennessee State Museum Spoiler alert: This blog post may contain plot spoilers. In The House Guest, this week’s Mercy Street episode, Alice Green feigns love for a Union soldier in order to gather information for the Rebellion. This scheme turns out to be more dangerous than she thought and results in tragic […]

‘Mercy Street’ Battles Smallpox in Season 2 Opener

Posted by on January 23, 2017 at 8:00 am

By Rob DeHart Tennessee State Museum In the opening episode of Season 2 of Mercy Street, a smallpox epidemic ravages a camp for freed African Americans. Mansion House’s doctors initially ignore the epidemic, viewing it as a “slave disease,” until Nurse Mary Phinney eventually convinces the hospital to take it seriously. This was an all […]

As in Mercy Street, the Civil War brought roads to freedom

Posted by on February 26, 2016 at 2:52 pm

Watch the Mercy Street series conclusion online at through March 6. Inside Mercy Street, a behind-the-scenes feature about the series, airs 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12.   By Rob DeHart Tennessee State Museum A recurring theme in Mercy Street is the possibility of freedom embraced by African-Americans during the Civil War. As the story […]

Did Civil War soldiers like those on Mercy Street suffer PTSD?

Posted by on February 18, 2016 at 2:02 pm

By Rob DeHart Tennessee State Museum Mercy Street exposes the psychological impact of war through the moving story of Confederate soldier Tom Fairfax who arrived at the hospital traumatized by seeing a friend die in battle. Though Tom seems to improve, he eventually takes a drastic step when given the opportunity to escape the hospital […]

For Mercy Street’s patients infection was the main enemy

Posted by on February 11, 2016 at 10:40 am

By Rob DeHart Tennessee State Museum Each of the last three Mercy Street episodes featured a dramatization of 19th-century surgical procedures: leg amputation, skull surgery (trephination) and a cesarean operation. In each case Dr. Foster and his assistants performed the procedures in non-sterile conditions and yet the patients survived. The first was a fairly common […]

Mercy Street’s premise parallels Nashville family’s story

Posted by on January 28, 2016 at 8:00 am

By Rob DeHart Tennessee State Museum Mercy Street is set in Alexandria, Va., but it could have easily been set here in Nashville. After the start of its occupation of the city in February 1862, the Union Army established more than 20 hospitals in confiscated schools, churches and private residences in Nashville. By early 1863, […]

Mercy Street, PBS’ new Civil War drama, covers many historical themes

Posted by on January 21, 2016 at 11:32 am

Mercy Street, PBS’ first original American drama in more than a decade, is set in a military hospital in Union-occupied Alexandria, Va., during the Civil War. The series airs 9 p.m. Sundays through Feb. 21, with a midweek encore Thursdays at 9 p.m. During the run of the show, Rob DeHart, a curator at the […]