Battle Hymn of the Republic

The Battle Hymn of the Republic is perhaps one of the most stirring patriotic songs ever written—closely identified with the Union cause in the Civil War. In November 1861, Julia Ward Howe was touring Union army camps with her husband, a medical doctor, along with a minister friend of theirs.

Some soldiers were singing popular war songs and Reverend Clarke suggested to Mrs. Howe that she might write new lyrics to one of the songs—resulting in the lyrics of the now famous, Battle Hymn of the Republic. Julia Ward Howe's lyrics draw extensively on biblical imagery, including Isaiah 27:1: “In that day the LORD will take his terrible, swift sword and punish Leviathan . . .”

Share

More Book Minute Features

April 06, 2020

With a Mighty Hand

The Haggadah is one of the most popular texts in Jewish tradition.Hebrew for “telling,” the Haggadah is the guidebook for the Seder, the ceremonial me...
March 30, 2020

Nebuchadnezzar’s Inscription

The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned several times in the Bible including his dramatic story of repentance in the Book of Daniel, Chapter...
March 16, 2020

Miserere mei Deus - Psalm 51

Miserere mei Deus (“Have mercy on me, O God”) by Gregorio Allegri, using the words from Psalm 51, is one of the most beautiful compositions ever writt...