By Domenic Mongillo, VI Form
The Use of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Dixie” as Anthems in United States History
Contributor’s Note: For this assignment, the task was to examine a Civil War or Reconstruction monument as a type of miniature research project. The resulting project would be able to tell a compelling story about the monument while also explaining the creation of the monument and the context around its creation. The most important part of this project, however, was to explore the monument’s importance to historical memory and how it has reflected the context of its creation throughout history. The projects were able to take on any media that would have helped to explain these facets of the monument; some students chose to make databases, posters, presentations, or videos. While “monuments,” constituted the official topic of inquiry, students were free to choose anything that had contributed to the memory of the Civil War era.
In my video, I chose to address the two songs: “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Dixie.” Originally, I was going to focus solely on “Dixie,” but further research prompted me to realize that juxtaposition with an opposing song from the northern side of the Civil War would lead to a compelling comparison that I was eager to explore. I was fascinated by how these songs not only clashed during the Civil War, but have also been anthems of opposing sides leading up to the present. I looked at a few individual monuments that I could have possibly explored, but choosing a topic that carried significant weight to people in both past and present seemed much more interesting to me.
Domenic Mongillo is a VI form Day Student from Southborough, Massachusetts. He primarily enjoys studying biology and history, but he also has a niche fascination with religion. Outside of the classroom, his interests include squash, community service, and hanging out with his two dogs, Coal and Vinny.