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

June 24, 2019

The Lost Gutenberg

Rare book collectors know the crown jewel of any library would be a complete Gutenberg Bible. Johannes Gutenberg produced perhaps 180 copies. Today, o...
June 17, 2019

The Catacombs

Some of the earliest known examples of Christian art portraying biblical figures are actually underground. In miles of tunnels outside the walls of Ro...
June 10, 2019

Shavuot

Shavuot—the Feast of Weeks, is celebrated seven weeks after Passover—commemorating the first fruits of the harvest, associated with the giving of the...