Battle Hymn of the Republic (from “American Minute”)

Bill Federer in his “American Minute” for February 1st shared that five dollars was all she was paid by the Atlantic Monthly Magazine for Julia Ward Howe’s poem, Battle Hymn of the Republic, on Feb. 1st of 1862; Federer continued: The Union’s theme song during the Civil War, Julia Ward Howe wrote it while visiting Washington, D.C., and seeing the teeming military, galloping horses and countless campfires. Sleeping unsoundly one night, she penned:

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He has loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on. I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel; ‘As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal’; Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, Since God is marching on. He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgement-seat: Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet! Our God is marching on. In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea; With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me: As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on.”

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