Meet the American who wrote 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic'

She pennedThe 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.

Howe’s masterpiece has been called America’s fight song. Its lyrics inspired the United States to spiritual resolve and sacrifice.

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

FDR’S POWERFUL PRAYER UNITED AMERICANS ON D-DAY

The lyrics are often altered in modern performances tolet us live to make men free.Yet some 360,000 federal soldiers, according to the American Battlefield Trust, answered the call to martyrdom in the name of human liberty. Their sacrifice freed 4 million Americans from bondage. Hundreds of thousands of Confederate soldiers died in the conflict, ook.

Die “glory, glory hallelujahchorus ofThe Battle Hymnis today one of the most familiar refrains in world music.

Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) is die outeur van "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," which includes some of the most inspirational words ever written.

Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) is die outeur van “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which includes some of the most inspirational words ever written. (Bettmann Archive)

But many people have forgotten the rest of the tune and its impassioned Christian call to arms — even willfully erased it in certain circles of the American political spectrum. Many recent accounts of the song gloss over its foundations.

Howe’s imagery is unmistakable, wel; the song was deeply informed by her literary Christian upbringing.

Flickering campfires inThe Battle Hymn” is the light of the Lord; encampments are altars where soldiers prayin the evening dews and damp”; glimmering bayonets formed for battle reflect thefiery Gospel.Slavery is an Old Testament serpent to be crushed beneath the heel of Jesus Christ.

The song was deeply informed by Howe’s literary Christian upbringing.

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