Mary Ann Neeley, Montgomery's foremost historian, has come out with a fascinating new book, The Works of Matthew Blue, Montgomery's First Historian. Blue published "A Brief History of Montgomery" in the 1878 City Directory of Montgomery. Mrs. Neeley's book presents a comprehensive look at much of his writings. including his narrative and a series of events arranged by months
In the narrative Blue tells of the Ordinance of Secession being adopted and proclaimed to the world. He says "This was hailed with unwonted acclamations by all the citizens and sojourners. Business was suspended, the bells of the city rang for hours, cannon fired, and harangues to the people at the Capitol."
Much information follows which our gentle readers may find for themselves if they will order the book. Blue says "Montgomery will always enjoy the distinction of having been the first Capitol of the Southern Confederacy... No city in the entire Southern Confederacy was more prompt, none more liberal in the contribution of brave, gallant, devoted men and none more untiring in its effort to uphold the honor and secure the independence of the South...Many slept that last sleep upon the bloody field where they fought their last battle."
Blue goes on to say poignantly, "These, in a nobler cause, could send back the immortal language of the Spartan band at Thermopylae, 'Stranger, go to Lacedaemon and tell that we died in obedience to her laws'. On mountain tops, on hill sides, in valleys, on rivers, and in the Confederate cemeteries of the South and even in Northern soil, their sacred dust will repose until the trump of Resurrection is sounded...Certainly, indeed, when the South makes up her jewels, Montgomery will shine in that resplendent crown of glory".