Written by Julia Ward Howe in the Willard Hotel in Washington D. C. in November of 1861 as a hymn. It was first published in Atlantic Monthly in February 1862. It used the melody from the abolitionist song “John Brown’s Body.” Since the Civil War, it has become a popular patriotic song as well. This song has a very powerful melody and lyrics. I heard this sung by my grandmother when I was a young boy. I can still hear her singing it.