Dedicated September 19, 1858 by Rt. Rev. John McGill, Bishop of Richmond. — Catholic workers, who were employed in building the Fairfax Railroad pass, began work on the structure in 1856. They were assisted by members of the nearby Hamill family. Shortly after the dedication, Norther Virginia was ravaged by the Civil War, resulting in the church being requisitioned as a shelter for the wounded. Here, under the direction of Clara Barton, the idea of the Red Cross was developed. The original pews were removed during the winter of 1861-2 and used as firewood, but were replaced by President Grant. Funeral services for General Philip Kearney, killed at Chantilly, were held in the church yard. Later Gen. Robert E. Lee returned the body to the Federal lines, together with the slain officer's horse and saddle.