Patriotic Song: The Battle Cry of Freedom

“The Battle Cry of Freedom” was written in 1862 by George Frederick Root.  The song is also known as “Rally ‘Round the Flag.”

The song is a patriotic song, popular during the American Civil War, that advocated the causes of unionism and abolitionism.

A modified version of the song became the campaign song for the 1864 Lincoln-Johnson presidential election.

One Union soldier, Henry Stone, later recalled, the following effect of the song:

“A glee club came down from Chicago, bringing with them the new song, “We’ll rally ’round the flag, boys”, and it ran through the camp like wildfire. The effect was little short of miraculous. It put as much spirit and cheer into the army as a victory. Day and night one could hear it by every camp fire and in every tent. I never shall forget how the men rolled out the line, “And although he may be poor, he shall never be a slave.” I do not know whether Mr. Root knows what good work his song did for us there, but I hope so.”

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