William Steffe

1830 - 1890



William Steffe, born in South Carolina in the US around 1830, was a Philadelphia bookkeeper and insurance agent who is credited with collecting and editing the musical tune for a camp-meeting song with the traditional "Glory Hallelujah" refrain. Early in the American Civil War, this tune was used to create the Union army marching song John Brown's Body. In November 1861, Julia Ward Howe, having heard this version, used the tune as the basis of her new verse, later known as The Battle Hymn of the Republic. He died around 1890.