Judge Walter B. Jones (1888 – 1963) was a well-respected Alabama judge, legislator and writer. He founded the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in Montgomery which was named after his father, an alumnus of the Virginia Military Institute, veteran of the Civil War and Governor of Alabama for two terms. (I wrote about TGJ in my Nov 5 blog).
Judge Jones wrote an article that was in the July 5, 1948 Advertiser, about Julia Ward Howe’s so-called “Battle Hymn”. She was an Abolitionist who wrote the poem after hearing the troops singing “John Brown’s Body”.
I quote from Judge Jone’s column: “John Brown was one of the most contemptible characters in American history though many who despised the South tried to make him a great martyr. History has shown he was a colossal fraud and a craven coward, and we must not forget the raid that he made on Harper’s Ferry when innocent men were murdered and the United Stats Arsenal seized. Brown was convicted of treason and hanged Dec 2, 1859”.
In the light of all this, Judge Jones says, “the Battle Hymn was the quintessence of concentrated hypocrisy”. He further states: “None of the ‘glory’ Mrs. Howe pictured, ever came out of the war between the Union and the Confederacy, but masquerading in the guise of a humanitarian movement, the armies of the North, at the command of Abraham Lincoln, invaded and crushed the civilization of the South, confiscated its property and beggared its people.”
He ends his editorial with these words: “The economic collapse which followed brought from the lips of a high-minded Northern visitor to South Carolina during the closing days of Reconstruction these words, ‘There is nothing left to steal.’ And that was the ‘glory’ Julia Ward Howe’s eyes saw!
I can’t stand that song, can you? Judge Jones, YOU ROCK!