The Battle Hymn of the Republic – The Real Story

If you’ve had the opportunity to attend a hymn sing at Forest Hills, odds are you’ve heard me call out the hymn number “717!” at some point. Hymn #717 in the United Methodist Hymnal is The Battle Hymn of the Republic and my favorite hymn in the book. Since I’ve requested it so many times, I thought I might take this opportunity during Pastor David’s sabbatical to explain myself and my apparent obsession (it might seem) with this particular song. The truth? It all began with the American Civil War. Hello, my name is Amanda Lucas and I am a Civil War Nut. There, I’ve admitted it in front of all of you! Actually, the American Civil War (ACW) has been a hobby and area of interest of mine since I was all of seven years old. Maybe even prior to that. It began with paging through books, reading battle maps, and then it progressed to giving “presentations” on some of the major battles to my parents. Around the time I was in fourth grade, my dad took a new position within his company in North Carolina. This began a stint of six years that we lived on the East Coast and the South…right in the thick of where the Civil War took place. While moving more than the average family could have been seen as a terrible thing, it opened up a field of history that we don’t have direct access to here in the state of Minnesota—Civil War battlefields. Our moves blessed us with the opportunity to walk where history happened. Once I set foot on my first battlefield, I knew I was hooked. Read more…