Filmed on location in Virginia, the cast of the Civil War-set drama is headed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Nurse Mary Phinney, who is described as a feisty New Englander and widow who is a newcomer at Mansion House Hospital; Josh Radnor as Jedediah Foster, the civilian contract surgeon who grew up in a privileged Southern slave-owning household as the son of a wealthy Maryland landowner; Gary Cole as James Green, Sr., patriarch of the Green family, struggling to maintain his family business while living in an occupied city; Peter Gerety as Dr. Alfred Summers, chief surgeon at Mansion House, who has risen to the rank of major by virtue of his age, not skill; Norbert Leo Butz as Dr. Byron Hale, an old-school army surgeon who lives life by the book; McKinley Belcher III as Samuel Diggs, a black laborer harboring a secret knowledge and ability in medicine, which he learned as a boy servant; Shalita Grant as Aurelia Johnson, a beautiful, stoical "contraband" working as a laundress at the hospital, and trying to bury her past; and Hannah James as Emma Green, an entitled Southern young woman who volunteers as a nurse at Mansion House Hospital, the facility established on the site of her family’s luxury hotel.
The cast also includes guest star Cherry Jones as Dorothea Dix, Donna Murphy as Jane Green, Jack Falahee as Frank Stringfellow, Anna Sophia Robb as Alice Green, Cameron Monaghan as Tom Fairfax, Tara Summers as Anne Hastings, L. Scott Caldwell as Belinda, Suzanne Bertish as Matron Brannan, Wade Williams as Silas Bullen, Luke Macfarlane as Chaplain Hopkins and Brad Koed as James Green, Jr.
Roxann Dawson directed the first three episodes of the drama.
"Set in Virginia in the spring of 1862," "Mercy Street," according to press notes, "follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict; 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-occupied Confederate city of the war. Ruled under martial law, Alexandria is now the melting pot of the region, filled 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. It’s a fresh twist on an iconic story, one that resonates with larger themes we still struggle with today."
"Mercy Street" is a production of Lone Wolf Media, Remaindermen Films and Scott Free Productions. Executive producers are Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker. Executive producers, co-creators and writers are Lisa Q. Wolfinger and David Zabel.