Mt. Zion Old School Baptist Church, built in 1851, sits at the intersection of the Old Carolina Road and Route 50 – once a main crossroad in southeastern Loudoun County. From here, the church was an eyewitness to much of the history of this area, in particular the Civil War. The congregation met here monthly until 1980, except for the years during the Civil War. Many churches and other public buildings were put into service during the Civil War, but few in Loudoun County saw as much action as Mt. Zion.
The church was used as a military rendezvous site, prison, barracks, battleground, and hospital. Union troops used the church as a field hospital after the cavalry engagements of Aldie, Middleburg and Upperville in June of 1863, and graffiti on the church’s walls are remnants of the soldiers’ days spent in recuperation. July of 1864 saw military action close to the church, when Confederate Colonel John S. Mosby and his men met the Union forces from Massachusetts and New York under Major William H. Forbes. It was an overwhelming victory for Mosby and his men.
The cemetery adjacent to the church contains over 240 marked graves and additional unmarked graves within its old stone wall, and at least 64 African American unmarked graves outside the wall. Among those buried here are veterans of the Civil War and one War of 1812 veteran.