BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC.
BY MRS. JULIA WARD HOWE.
Title:Battle Hymn of the Republic
Author:Mrs. Julia Ward Howe
Publication:The Blackburn Times
Date:September 26th, 1863
These song lyrics composed by Julia Ward Howe and set to the folk tune of ‘John Brown’s Body’ became very popular as emblematic first of military resolve and religious justification, then of more general patriotic fervour. In this instance they are published just the year after they first appeared in Atlantic Monthly, and show a clear sympathy for the cause of the Union and abolition. One of the things to consider when imagining the publication context of these poems is how they were received when published with no accompanying explanation or introduction. Although it is tempting to see poems which espouse a particular political message as reflecting the politics of the newspaper or its editors, in truth there was often an allowance for a relatively broad ideological discourse in the area of poetry. The emotional resonance of the pieces was as important as their particular political colour. – SR