We are very excited that we are close to printing a booklet by General John H. Napier, III about Montgomery during the Civil War. This article originally appeared in the April 1988 issue of the Alabama Review and will be used by permission.
It takes the reader from the beginning when Jefferson Davis wrote his wife, Varina, that “Montgomery was a ‘gay and handsome town’ that would not be an unpleasant residence” all the way to the end of the War when Wilson’s Raiders swept down from Selma to Montgomery.
On April 11, 1865, General Adams issued orders to burn 88,000 bales of cotton stored in Montgomery to keep it from Yankee hands, although the war was apparently lost. Miraculously the city was not destroyed, thanks to the heroism of the local fire company.
According to General Napier one die-hard secessionist ninety-one year old had sworn that she would rather die than see the Yankees enter Montgomery, and she got her wish, dying on April 11 as the sky glowed red with flames from burning cotton.
I am sure there are many such stories and we are so glad General Napier has written this down for the First White House of the Confederacy to share with others.