On this date in History .... 1862:
The Atlantic Monthly magazine publishes the words to Julia Ward Howe’s poem-turned-song “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, which became the most popular song of the Civil War.
Previously, Union soldiers had sung the song “John Brown’s Body” but so did the Confederate, with slightly different words. Howe and a minister friend thought there should be more uplifting words. Howe, already a published poet, took up the challenge and wrote the poem/song.
Two years before her death, she became the first woman elected to the
American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was married to Samuel Howe, who founded the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston.