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The Battle Hymn of the Republic

 
 
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2008 02:34 am
[CENTER]by Julia Ward Howe[/CENTER]


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;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on."



He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me:
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.




The Atlantic Monthly; February 1862; The Battle Hymn of the Republic; Volume 9, No. 52; page 10.
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Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Feb, 2008 06:07 pm
@Pythagorean,
Is it possible you got the second line a little wrong?
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Feb, 2008 06:17 pm
@Fido,
Hi, Fido!! How are you?

The words as published in the February, 1862, issue of The Atlantic Monthly are slightly different from her original manuscript version as documented in her Reminiscences 1819-1899, published in 1899. Later versionshave been adapted to more modern usage and to the theological inclinations of the groups using the song.

So that probably explains the discepancy.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Feb, 2008 09:01 pm
@Pythagorean,
Some of my people fought in that war, and I can never hear that song without a tear coming to my eyes. What carnage and waste for so little gain. But when you hear Oh Suzanna and realize what a cry for pity it is, since the life expectancy of a slave in the gulf states was less than ten years, then you can grasp once more what carnage and waste was slavery. And all for nothing since the middle men, the bankers and their kind took every bit of profit out of the process, leaving pretense for the slave owner, and pain for the slave.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2008 02:04 pm
@Fido,
Didn't help that the carpet baggers were happy to buy up and tear down every bit of what was left of the south's economy after the war. The old money families, as always, got on just fine. It was the poor and middle class who suffered.

Of course, those in bondage were no better off after the war. For all the hopes a dreams of slaves and abolitionists, the country still needed a hundred years.

Foolhardy, southern, Constitutional delegates!
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2008 06:19 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Didn't help that the carpet baggers were happy to buy up and tear down every bit of what was left of the south's economy after the war. The old money families, as always, got on just fine. It was the poor and middle class who suffered.

Of course, those in bondage were no better off after the war. For all the hopes a dreams of slaves and abolitionists, the country still needed a hundred years.

Foolhardy, southern, Constitutional delegates!

Their economy was **** before the war.
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2008 12:32 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Their economy was **** before the war.

True. By the time of the war the only people benefitting from slavery was a tiny aristocracy in the south; the rest of the south was collapsing because of it.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2008 03:34 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
True. By the time of the war the only people benefitting from slavery was a tiny aristocracy in the south; the rest of the south was collapsing because of it.

I'm not really sure about that. My guess is that they thought they could make money if they could get the yankee traders of their backs; but I think the middle men had the money squeezed right out of slavery. I have heard that New York considered ceceding briefly, but how could a whole state let wall street wag their tail? Combine the bankrupt condition of the South with the fact that slavery robbed labor of its honor, and you have the facts as Lincoln saw them: that the South is not a place for a poor white man to remove to, but to remove from. So, when everyone one was talking free land, it was for all the poor whites who could not compete with slavery, and had too much honor to try. In one sense at least the South had the perfect defense. Since they had no infrastructure they had no infrastructure to be turned against them. As some in the North noted: Poor morals equal poor roads. Is it not still true today?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2008 04:57 pm
@Pythagorean,
Quote:
As some in the North noted: Poor morals equal poor roads. Is it not still true today?


It wasn't true then. Neither the southern, nor northern states could possibly claim moral superiority and make any sense.

Unless, of course, you're convinced the war was about slavery.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2008 05:17 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
It wasn't true then. Neither the southern, nor northern states could possibly claim moral superiority and make any sense.

Unless, of course, you're convinced the war was about slavery.

It was about many things, perhaps it was about as many things as lives it destroyed. But it began destroying lives long before anyone considered it in the light of national morality. I do want you to know that the North most certainly made the moral argument against the South; and the South took great offense. In reality, Lincoln was right long before that we were a house divided, and would be slave or free, but not both. Slavery was such that it had to grow or it was bound to fail. It was a simple matter of economics whether the free people of american would submit to the yoke. Now this people has decided to submit to slavery so long as they are free to identify with their masters. That will make slavery endurable.
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Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Feb, 2008 08:28 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
I'm not really sure about that. My guess is that they thought they could make money if they could get the yankee traders of their backs; but I think the middle men had the money squeezed right out of slavery. I have heard that New York considered ceceding briefly, but how could a whole state let wall street wag their tail? Combine the bankrupt condition of the South with the fact that slavery robbed labor of its honor, and you have the facts as Lincoln saw them: that the South is not a place for a poor white man to remove to, but to remove from. So, when everyone one was talking free land, it was for all the poor whites who could not compete with slavery, and had too much honor to try. In one sense at least the South had the perfect defense. Since they had no infrastructure they had no infrastructure to be turned against them. As some in the North noted: Poor morals equal poor roads. Is it not still true today?

There is abundant evidence that slavery itself was a direct economic hindrance to the south, irrespective of morals, particularly on small farms. This evidence includes the weight of livestock on slave-tended farms versus farms without slaves and the crop yields on slave-tended farms. One reason is that slave-tended farms were unable to rotate crops and introduce new technology because they were employing a completely uneducated labor force, and it was difficult to train slaves to do entirely new agricultural tasks. Much of what I know about this I read in a long, encyclopedic book about the Civil War called None Died in Vain, in which the slave economy is presented with tremendous detail.

The vast majority of southerners had no slaves. The vast majority of slaveholders only owned one or two slaves, and they were relatively poor. But the vast majority of slaves were owned by a minority of rich, aristocratic southern families, including the families of many famous Virginians like Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee and George Washington.

And the secessionist movement was started by these southern aristocratic slaveowners like Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens, not by the poor farmers who had one or two slaves. This is in part why West Virginia seceded from Virginia at the time -- WV was poor, had few rich plantation owners, and did not stand to benefit from a military alliance with VA.

You're right that NYC was not especially in favor of the Union at the time, and this might have been because of financial ties with the large cotton plantations (which were very slave-dependant).
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Feb, 2008 09:07 am
@Aedes,
That sounds like a good book to have, and I would recommend Free Soil, Free Labor, and Free Men, by Foner. I have been to Harpers Ferry, and they had enlarged upon one of their walls a handbill from before the war, all the worse for wear comparing in great detail the condition of the South Per capita against that of the north; andin every respect the South fell short. And we have to remember that from their point of view it was the best, and the ideal, even if it would bear no objective comparison. The lesson for us is that we may think what we have is great, and we are happy with our progress no matter what the human cost may be; But we should hazzard a guess about where we might be if we could abandon injustice, and violence and legality without end or purpose, and reform our relationships on some other basis. The most difficult chain for any person to break is the one binding them to the past even if that is the very same one binding them to poverty and slavery. Thanks.
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