An order forbidding ladies at the scene was largely ignored. Julia Ward Howe's impressions of McClellan's 1861 military review found expression in our most iconic, Union marching song. Willard's Hotel, November, 1861. Perhaps no dim and flaring lamp lit Julia Ward Howe's writing desk. It was a very posh hostelry. I've never been afflicted with writer's block but am not a writer. Accounts claim she had a bad case, tussling with lyrics to a soldiers' marching song. It was awfully early in the war, Patriotism on high broil- red, leaking in great puddles from our red, white and blue devotionals, had not reached national awareness. McClellan may have spent a fair bit of his tenure at war, decorating up the place ( including the men ) but he did it really well. By the time an entire army was ready to move ( somewhere, anywhere! ) nowhere could be found a more stunningly awesome, fiercely military, blue-n-brass, drilled and pressed and gigantic and inspiring a military machine. What to do with it? Well, for one thing, show it to someone. The Sunday, November 20, 1861 is for some reason not as well known as the 1865 review, through DC streets. It should be. Lincoln was there, for one thing. You know a fair percentage of those 70,000 were not around in 1865. The single legacy we never think of is Julia Howe Ward's enduring song, really, a legacy of what she saw that day- and what the scene evoked. We're so lucky. " 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 hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword; His truth is marching on. " Julia Ward Howe's struggle to put her feelings into words ended after witnessing McClellan's review, November, 1861. Alfred Waud wrote this for Frank Leslie's, at the time. 75,00, or 70,00 ( found 2 different numbers, both sourced, the military source states 70,000 ) , 76 infantry regiments, 17 artillery batteries and 7 cavalry regiments gathered outside Washington, DC. It's one of the longest Waud reports I've read, sent with his illustration, but am not an historian. Just a few snips from the whole. He speaks of the Fitzhugh estate, which is a little baffling- if he's not referring to Arlington ( review was nearby ), perhaps and estate of the family's was near Arlington? Julia Howe Ward was there. You read accounts where women had been ordered out of the area- seems to have not just ignored but not known? Ladies galore! Lincoln was said to look as if he wasn't sure he wasn't sure he wished to be there, a little uncomfortable- but that may have been keeping an eye on Willie. Here's the part to which we may owe our lasting legacy from Julia. 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 His fiery gospel writ in rows of burnished steel! "As ye deal with my condemners, 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… He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment 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. Julia came back to Willard's Hotel, somehow unburdened herself of that song. There's so much more on the review itself; a whole ' nother thread. This is a simple one, albeit a little long. Ran into Waud's description, too, and it all made sense. Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on. * Read on another site Julia wrote them in 1862? Sheet music published Feb. 1862, not likely only a month for all production, publication, printing, etc.