Battle Hymn of the Republic
I have written this letter to present the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" in a different light and to take issue with this so-called "hymn" that always seems to be around on patriotic holidays, such as the Fourth of July.
The original four-verse "hymn" was written by the rabid abolitionist (and Unitarian) Julia Ward Howe. It was set to the music honoring the convicted (and executed) terrorist and traitor John Brown (captured by then-Col. Robert E Lee and a detachment of U.S. Marines in 1859 after Brown and his followers seized the U.S. Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virg.) It was the anthem of the Union armies sent to invade and lay waste to the South. This "hymn" is nothing more than a call for the wrath of God to be poured upon the South, its soldiers, and civilian population (women, children and old men). The likes of William Sherman, Philip Sheridan, U.S. Grant, etc., enthusiastically dispensed that wrath as they led their blue hordes throughout the South, pillaging and murdering in almost every campaign undertaken (and with the full knowledge and support of the Great Centralizer Abraham Lincoln). No military force of the United States, before or after the so-called "Civil War", has committed such atrocities as were committed against the people of the South (other than against the Plains Indians).
I’m sure some Northerners got together after the War and decided they would place this "hymn" in Southern hymnals and someday (with enough brainwashing), Southerners would think it was a great and stirring arrangement! I’ve also heard the argument that this "hymn" means something different now. Does that mean that after 140 years the Nazi anthem "Horst Wessel" will mean something benign?
Pardon me if I don’t acknowledge "Battle Hymn of the Republic" in any way whatsoever. This "hymn" is an insult to all those Southern citizen-soldiers who fought to defend their families, homes and states against a vicious invader, and an insult to all the descendents of those gallant men.
It is interesting to note that the pleasant "Dixie" was "borrowed" from the Northern minstrel shows with very few words changed. On the other hand, Julia Ward Howe took music written in about 1856 by William Steffe of South Carolina (his camp meeting song started with the words "Say, Brothers, will you meet us on Canaan’s happy shore?") and turned the whole arrangement into a call for death and destruction with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
By the way, "Battle Hymn of the Republic" has absolutely nothing to do with the first American Revolution of 1776. It has everything to do with Lincoln’s destruction of the original, voluntary union of states and effective creation of the American Empire in 1865.
Walter L Adams Jr
Sons of Confederate Veterans