Mt. Zion Church was used as a hospital for wounded Union troops. Graffiti still exists on the church walls, left behind by Union soldiers. Pews were converted to hospital beds and some were used to make coffins for those that did not survive.
The church is also where Colonel John Mosby, or the Gray Ghost, first met with locals to form the Mosby Rangers, a ranger unit noted for its lightning quick raids and its ability to elude Union Army pursuers and disappear, blending in with local farmers and townspeople.
Another interesting historical fact is Mosby was almost killed during the Battle of Aldie when he was attacked by a Union soldier with a saber. He was saved when Thomas Richards, one of his Rangers, jumped in front of the blade and was stabbed in the shoulder himself.
This rich history was threatened by a proposed residential development in 2006 which prompted the Mt. Zion Church Preservation Association to nominate the Battle of Mt. Zion to Preservation Virginia’s Endangered Sites List in 2006.
Luckily, the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, working closely with the Commonwealth of Virginia, Loudoun County, Piedmont Environmental Council and the Mt. Zion Church Preservation Association, was able to purchase the site in 2009 and protect it from development.
The Battles of Aldie and Mt. Zion as well as Mt. Zion Church are now part of the Gilbert’s Corner Regional Park, a 155-acre public recreational park.
Tracy Gillespie, the Historic Site Supervisor of Gilbert's Corner Regional Park and Aldie Mills Historic Park, agrees that, while it didn’t happen overnight, this Endangered Site Program listing is one that has had a very positive outcome.