‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ words still speak to the nation today

Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) is the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," which includes some of the most inspirational words ever written. (Bettmann Archive)
  • Meet the American who wrote ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’
  • Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) gave the United States — and the world — some of the most inspirational words ever written.
  • She penned “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” in November 1861, during a wartime tour of Washington, D.C., as Americans realized with gloom that the seven-month-old Civil War would be longer, darker and deadlier than anticipated.
  • The words tell the biblically heroic story of Union soldiers marching to their death in the name of Christ to vanquish slavery:
    • As he died to make men holy
    • Let us die to make men free
    • His truth is marching on
  • Their sacrifice freed 4 million Americans from bondage
  • The famous second line — “He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored” — is a plea for divine justice inspired by the Book of Revelation.
  • “In times of danger and thanksgiving, ‘The Battle Hymn’ is now, as it was in the [1860s], the fitting vehicle of the national feeling,” Howe’s daughter, Florence Howe Hall, wrote in her 1916 book, “The Story of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
  • After 9/11, the nation instinctively rallied around “The Battle Hymn” in churches and in public performances, proving that the song speaks to the spirit of the American people through the ages.

Read the original article by clicking here.

Leave a Reply