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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: November 15, 2014.

Five dollars was all she was paid by the Atlantic Monthly Magazine for her poem, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, published FEBRUARY 1, 1862.

It became Lincoln’s favorite song and the Union’s theme song.

Julia Ward Howe was the daughter of a Wall Street banker and wife of Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe who ran a school for the blind in Boston.

Julia and her husband entertained John Brown in their home and published the anti-slavery journal Commonwealth.

In 1861, Julia traveled to Washington, D.C., and saw the city teeming with military, horses galloping all around and innumerable campfires burning.

Sleeping unsoundly one night, she wrote the words:

“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 has loosed the fateful lighting of His terrible swift sword:
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.

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.

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.

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.”

So profound was Julia Ward Howe’s influence, that Theodore Roosevelt dedicated his book to her, Fear God and Take Your Own Part (NY: G.H. Doran Co., 1916, p. v.):

“This book is dedicated to the memory of Julia Ward Howe: because in the vital matters fundamentally affecting the life of the Republic,

she was as good a citizen of the Republic as Washington and Lincoln themselves.

She was in the highest sense a good wife and a good mother…At the same time she fulfilled her full duty to the commonwealth…

She preached that stern and lofty courage of soul which shrinks neither from war nor…suffering and hardship and danger…

She embodies that trait more essential than any other in the make-up of the men and women of this Republic – the valor of righteousness.”

In Fear God and Take Your Own Part, 1916, Theodore Roosevelt wrote his address to the American Sociological Congress:

“The civilization of Europe, America and Australia exists today…only because of the victories of civilized man over the enemies of civilization…

stretching through the centuries from Charles Martel in the 8th century and those of John Sobieski in the 17th century.

During the thousand years that included the careers of the Frankish soldier and the Polish king, the Christians of Asia and Africa proved unable to wage successful war with the Moslem conquerors;

and in consequence Christianity practically vanished from the two continents;

and today nobody can find in them any ‘social values’ whatever, in the sense in which we use the words, so far as the sphere of Mohammedan influences are concerned.

There are such ‘social values’ today in Europe, America and Australia only because…the Christians of Europe possessed the warlike power to do what the Christians of Asia and Africa had failed to do

– that is, to beat back the Moslem invader.

If Europe…had not been able to defend itself…there would have been no ‘social values’…and no sociologists to discuss them.”





William J. Federer is a nationally known speaker, best-selling author, and president of Amerisearch, Inc., a publishing company dedicated to researching America’s noble heritage.

To learn more about the author please visit  William Federer







Featured image: Courtesy of AP Images

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