With the Sesquicentennial beginning in 2011 I wanted to quote from a pamphlet by Mary Ann Neeley, which was part of a recent Walking Tour sponsored by Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery.

January 11, 1861    Alabama Secedes from the Union
February 4              Delegates from Southern States meet in Montgomery
February 8              Confederacy organized. Montgomery becomes Provisional Capital. Jefferson Davis elected Provisional President
February 18            Davis inaugurated Provisional President
April 12                  Firing on Fort Sumter
May 21                  Congress meets for last time before moving to Richmond
April 11-12 1865   Cotton burned: City surrenders

Montgomery’s position as the First Capital of the Confederacy was unexpected until early in 1861; its new status was a surprise to many and a dismay to others. Most citizens however greeted the news with jubilation. The people of the city rallied and within a short period there were offices, train yards, hotels, restaurants, private residences and a host of other necessary spaces and equipment eagerly offered to the new arrivals by the townsfolk. Four years to date of firing on Fort Sumter, federal troops arrived.

I have mentioned before the excellent book by William C. Davis “A Government of Our Own” The Making of the Confederacy. This is a great time in our history to order and read this book. I challenge each of us to do this in honor of  the sesquicentennial of the War.