The Battle Hymn of the Republic

by


Howe was inspired to write The Battle Hymn of the Republic after she and her husband visited Washington, DC in 1861 and met with President Abraham Lincoln. Her friend, James Freeman Clarke suggested she re-write the words to John Brown's Body, which she did, and it was set to William Steffe's music. It was published in The Atlantic Monthly in February, 1862 and became the most popular song for the Union during the American Civil War. Enjoy Johnny Cash's rendition below: "A song can belong to all of us." Featured in our Civil War Poems and Feminist Literature Study Guide
An illustration for the story The Battle Hymn of the Republic by the author Julia Ward Howe
The Battle Hymn of the Republic sheet music, 1862
An illustration for the story The Battle Hymn of the Republic by the author Julia Ward Howe
The Battle Hymn of the Republic sheet music, 1862
An illustration for the story The Battle Hymn of the Republic by the author Julia Ward Howe
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 hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day 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. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! 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 judgment-seat; Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet! Our God is marching on. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! 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. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! While God is marching on. The Battle Hymn of the Republic music

Featured in our collection of American Patriotic Songs, which includes Battle Cry of Freedom, another Union anthem. Featured in our collection of Civil War Stories and 100 Great Poems. Visit American History for more about authors and writing which helped shape America. You may enjoy reading the Confederates' response with their own unofficial anthem during the War, God Save the South


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Return to the Julia Ward Howe Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; The Rough Sketch

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