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Julia Ward Howe composes the verses that will become the words to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"

Julia Ward Howe, photograph, circa 1861, detail
After visiting an army camp near Washington under the auspices of the U.S. Sanitary Commission and hearing soldiers singing the popular marching song "John Brown's Body," Julia Ward Howe, by her own account, awoke in her Washington DC hotel room in the early hours of the next morning and wrote down a new set of words she had been composing since.  This "Battle Hymn of the Republic" was published anonymously in the February 1862 edition of the Atlantic Monthly and soon became popular across the Northern states.  (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
Elaine Showalter, A Jury of Her Peers: American women writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009), 133-134)