The Battle Hymn That United The North During The Civil War

History
Via Wikimedia Commons

In February 1862, the Atlantic Monthly published Julia Ward Howe’s “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic,” and in doing so, helped cement a national identity in a nation engulfed by civil war.


The poem presents the Union campaign in a way that is deeply religious and near-apocalyptic, relying on a sense of pending doom and zeal to compel listeners or readers to fill with national pride.

Related: Abraham Lincoln’s speech to the 166th Ohio Regiment shows his admiration for the common soldier.

Not much for subtlety, one of Howe’s most striking verses ties the mission of the Union Army, and in particular the struggle of the Union soldier, to that of Jesus Christ.

“As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free.”

By using this kind of language the poem “encouraged a sense of providential national identity deeply seductive to American audiences—then and now,” noted Benjamin Soskis in a 2011 article for Slate.

The lyrics came to Howe late at night on Nov. 18, 1861, as she was drifting off to sleep. She sprung from her bed and jotted down the lines in the dark. When Howe awoke in the morning, she couldn't remember the song, but there on a piece of paper were the words she felt compelled to write the night before.

According to the Civil War Trust, Howe became interested in the idea of writing a Civil War song while singing popular war songs while on a camping trip.

Between the deeply religious language and its origin, the hymn became the leading anthem of the Union during the Civil War, and one of the most enduring works of art from that era.

You can read the full poem below.

None

A photo of Julia Ward Howe’s "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic."

Pictured left to right: Pedro Pascal ("Catfish"), Garrett Hedlund ("Ben"), Charlie Hunnam ("Ironhead"), and Ben Affleck ("Redfly") Photo Courtesy of Netflix

A new trailer for Netflix's Triple Frontier dropped last week, and it looks like a gritty mash-up of post-9/11 war dramas Zero Dark Thirty and Hurt Locker and crime thrillers Narcos and The Town.

Read More Show Less
Army Sgt. Daniel Cowart gets a hug from then-Dallas Cowboys defensive end Chris Canty. Photo: Department of Defense

The Distinguished Service Cross was made for guys like Sgt. Daniel Cowart, who literally tackled and "engaged...in hand to hand combat" a man wearing a suicide vest while he was on patrol in Iraq.

So it's no wonder he's having his Silver Star upgraded to the second-highest military award.

Read More Show Less
A small unmanned aerial vehicle built by service academy cadets is shown here flying above ground. This type of small UAV was used by cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy, during a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored competition at Camp Roberts, California, April 23-25, 2017. During the competition, cadets and midshipmen controlled small UAVs in "swarm" formations to guard territory on the ground at Camp Roberts. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Drones have been used in conflicts across the globe and will play an even more important role in the future of warfare. But, the future of drones in combat will be different than what we have seen before.

The U.S. military can set itself apart from others by embracing autonomous drone warfare through swarming — attacking an enemy from multiple directions through dispersed and pulsing attacks. There is already work being done in this area: The U.S. military tested its own drone swarm in 2017, and the UK announced this week it would fund research into drone swarms that could potentially overwhelm enemy air defenses.

I propose we look to the amoeba, a single-celled organism, as a model for autonomous drones in swarm warfare. If we were to use the amoeba as this model, then we could mimic how the organism propels itself by changing the structure of its body with the purpose of swarming and destroying an enemy.

Read More Show Less
Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment "Dark Horse," 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are escorted by observer controllers from the U.S. Army Operational Test Command after completing field testing of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) Sept. 24, 2018. (U.S. Army/Maj. Carson Petry)

The Army has awarded a $575 million contract to BAE Systems for the initial production of its replacement for the M113 armored personnel carriers the service has been rocking downrange since the Vietnam War.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump has formally outlined how his administration plans to stand up the Space Force as the sixth U.S. military service – if Congress approves.

On Tuesday, Trump signed a directive that calls for the Defense Department to submit a proposal to Congress that would make Space Force fall under Department of the Air Force, a senior administration official said.

Read More Show Less