Zenas J. Gray

Reminiscing about a rumored Rebel invasion, Newville resident Zenas J. Gray wrote, "Someone, seeing great clouds of dust in the State Road west of town, started a rumor that a foe was approaching. "Instantly the citizens were excited, many fleeing to their homes to escape capture. The postmaster was . . . one of the first to close up shop and go into the street to advise with his neighbors. "I had been inside the office to inquire for mail when the postmaster unceremoniously gave me the bounce, locking the door behind him. He suggested that someone climb to the roof of Literary Hall on a tour of discovery. "He decided to go and I followed . . . . From our lofty height we saw the big clouds of dust amid which were seen armed horsemen coming at breakneck speed. The flash of sabre and glitter of carbine were among the evidences that friend or foe was approaching. "We hurriedly descended, walking down to Main Street. Soon all fears were set at rest. The strangers were stragglers from Milroy's [Union] Cavalry who had been so disgracefully walloped in the fight with Gen'l. Ewell, near Martinsburg."