"when I turned the board over to the front that the columns were now backwards" But you can fix that in software - swap the bytes end for end that go to the max7219 registers:Data intended for Register1 goes to Register8, and data for Register8 goes to Register1 instead.
so the matrices don't scroll across each other, they just all show the same letter as each individual matrix scrolls...
I wire my components up via this site:http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/td_libs_Matrix.html
Beware, the Matrix library wants Teensy to connect to the last chip, and the DOUT-to-DIN chain connects from right to left. That seems backwards, but if you wire Teensy to DIN on the left-most chip as might seem intuitive, your display will end up with groups of 8 instead of one nice, continuous X-axis coordinates.
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