Patina Miller, who plays Charlotte Jenkins in Mercy Street
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Earlier this year, PBS' Mercy Street received rave reviews for its portrayal of an Alexandria, Va., hospital set during the Civil War.

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The first season followed two volunteer nurses from opposing sides who work at the Mansion House Hospital. Alexandria was the central melting pot of the region, filled with civilians, female volunteers, doctors, wounded soldiers from both sides, free blacks, the enslaved and contraband. And in season 2, which starts in January, the series will take a closer look at the contraband.

“Contraband” was a term used by Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler to give asylum to fugitive slaves of Confederate masters. In an exclusive clip for The Root, Mercy Street actors Patina Miller and McKinley Belcher III discuss how season 2 will further delve into the contraband storyline and the importance of the series.

Mercy Street returns to PBS on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, at 8 p.m. EST.