(May 27, 1819–October 17, 1910), was the author of the Civil War song, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, which was a favorite of President Abraham Lincoln. She was the daughter of a Wall Street banker, and wife of Doctor Samuel Gridley Howe (1801–1876), who ran a school for the blind in Boston, (later the Perkins School for the Blind.) Doctor Howe and Julia together published the anti-slavery journal Commonwealth.

Julia Ward Howe was very active in the abolition of the slavery movement, and later became a leader in the women’s suffrage movement. In 1907, she became the first woman member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She and her husband worked hard against slavery and even entertained John Brown in their home.

In 1861, she traveled to Washington, D.C., and saw the city teeming with military, horses galloping all around and innumerable campfires burning. Sleeping unsoundly one night, she wrote the words to her poem. In February, 1862, the poem, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, was published in the Atlantic Monthly Magazine (she received $5 for the poem):

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 has loosed the fateful lighting 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 judgement-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.2529