Manuscript Version: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Original Words as First Written by Julia Ward Howe

Battle of Bull Run (Battle of Manassas), 1861
Battle of Bull Run (Battle of Manassas), 1861. John Parrot / Stocktrek Images

The words to the song "Battle Hymn of the Republic" as first published, and as it is usually used now, are different, but both of those versions are different from the manuscript version that Julia Ward Howe first wrote in 1861. These are the words to "Battle Hymn of the Republic" as documented in the memoir of Julia Ward Howe, Reminiscences 1819-1899 , published in 1899:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
He is trampling out the wine press, where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He hath loosed the fateful lightnings of his terrible swift sword,
His truth is marching on.
I have seen him in the watchfires of an 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 burning Gospel writ in fiery 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,
Our God is marching on.
He has sounded out the trumpet that shall never call retreat,
He has waked the earth's dull sorrow with a high ecstatic beat,
Oh! be swift my soul to answer him, be jubilant my feet!
Our God is marching on.
In the whiteness of the lilies he was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that shines out on you and me,
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
Our God is marching on.
He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, he is succour to the brave,
So the world shall be his footstool, and the soul of Time his slave,
Our God is marching on.

Original Published Version | Manuscript Version | Later Versions