Julia Ward Howe was a writer, anti-slavery activist, and women’s suffrage leader. While campaigning tirelessly on behalf of human rights, Howe crafted passionate poetry, travel books, a play, a biography of early feminist Margaret Fuller, and most famously, the lyrics to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The unofficial song of the Union Army during the Civil War, “Battle Hymn” remains an enduring anthem for social justice.

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Portraits Julia Ward Howe

Engraving of Julia Ward Howe by C.A. Powell, based on a photograph by J.J. Hawes, ca. 1887. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Photograph of Julia Ward Howe, c. April 27, 1908. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
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"The Battle Hymn of the Republic"

As Civil War gripped the United States, Howe wrote and published “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as a poem in the “Atlantic Monthly.” The verses combine fervent devotion and righteous militancy. Sung to the tune of “John Brown’s Body”–a folk march–the song quickly became an anthem of the Union Army and an enduring patriotic melody. "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." _________ click above hear the song performed by the U.S. Army Band
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