Battle Hymn of the Republic

 

Something for the weekend.  I can think of no finer song for a Memorial Day weekend than the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

 

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Published in: on May 26, 2018 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Battle Hymn of the Republic  
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May 23, 1865: Grand Review

Something for the weekend:  Battle Hymn of the Republic.  Doubtless many men who fought in the Civil War thought, and dreaded, that the War might go on forever.  Now, however, it had ended with Union victory.  Some European powers speculated that the United States would now use its vast armies to take foreign territory:  perhaps French occupied Mexico, maybe settle old scores by taking Canada from Great Britain, Cuba, held by moribund Spain was certainly a tempting target.  But no, the armies had been raised for the purpose of preserving the Union.  Now the men in the ranks were eager to get home, and the nation was just as eager to enjoy peace.

One last duty remained however:  an immense victory parade in Washington.  On May 23, 1865, the 80,000 strong Army of the Potomac marched happily through the streets of Washington on a glorious spring day.  For six hours they passed the reviewing stand, where President Johnson, the cabinet, General Grant and assorted civilian and military high brass, received the salutes of, and saluted, the men who had saved the Union.  Most of the men had hated the Army, and were overjoyed to be going home, but for the rest of their lives they would remember this day and how all the death and suffering they had endured over the past four years had not been in vain after all.    Almost all of them were very young men now, and many of them would live to old age, future generations then having a hard time picturing them as they were now:  lean, battle-hardened and the victors of the bloodiest war in the history of their nation.  When they died iron stars would be put by their graves, and each Decoration Day, eventually called Memorial Day, flags would be planted by their graves, as if to recall a huge banner draped over the Capitol on this day of days:

“The Only National Debt We Can Never Pay, Is The Debt We Owe To Our Victorious Soldiers.”   (more…)

Published in: on May 23, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on May 23, 1865: Grand Review  
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Battle Hymn of the Republic

Something for the weekend.  The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  This version by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is the most powerful one I have heard.  During the Civil War the Mormons kept their distance from the fighting, concentrating on their unsuccessful efforts to enter the Union.  A good post here on the tense relationship between Salt Lake City and Washington during the War.  Now, the Mormons are as mainstream as white bread and tend to be very patriotic.  Time changes the past, or rather how we perceive the past. (more…)