the negroes who brought food for the prisoners stooped in passing and whispered to one of the sorrowful groups.
The news was false: there had, indeed, been a great battle, but the Union
army had won, the Confederates
were defeated and scattered.
Like a flame the word flashed through the prison.
Men leaped to their feet, shouted, embraced one another in a frenzy of joy and triumph; and Chaplain McCabe
, standing in the middle of the room, lifted up his great voice and sang aloud,--
“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
Every voice took up the chorus, and Libby Prison rang with the shout of “Glory, glory, hallelujah!”
The victory was that of Gettysburg
When, some time after, McCabe
was released from prison, he told in Washington
, before a great audience of loyal people, the story of his war-time experiences; and when he came to that night in Libby Prison, he sang the “Battle Hymn
” once more.
The effect was magical: people shouted, wept, and sang, all together; and when the song was ended, above the tumult of applause was heard the voice of Abraham Lincoln
, exclaiming, while the tears rolled down his cheeks,--
“Sing it again!”
(Our mother met Lincoln
in 1861, and was presented to him by Governor Andrew
After greeting the party, the President
seated himself so near the famous portrait of Washington by Gilbert Stuart as naturally to suggest some comparison between the two figures.
On the canvas we saw the calm presence, the serene assurance of the man who had successfully accomplished