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256 The National Music of America.
which imprinted it for ever in their memory, on Boston Common, when Col. Fletcher Webster's men marched across it on their way from Fort Warren to the Providence depot, to take cars for New York; he has also the testimony of many who were present, that when the same regiment marched up Broadway in New York, they halted and sang the "John Brown Song," and it created the wildest enthusiasm among the multitude assembled. The Twelfth Massachusetts Regiment sang it into the war.
It underwent another metamorphosis : Edna Dean Proctor set abolition words to the song, in honour of the more celebrated John Brown. In December, 1861, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, with her noble husband, the great Doctor Howe, visited Washington. While there she was witness to a skirmish some miles outside of the city, and, hearing the soldiers singing "John Brown's Body," was much impressed by its