Tennessee has long been known as the Volunteer State. Most Tennesseans probably do not know the origin of the nickname; I know I didn’t, so I did some research. Here is what I was able to dig up.
Famous politician, hunter, and Indian fighter, Davy Crockett led a 12 man group known as the “Tennessee Mounted Volunteers” during the battle of the Alamo. However; this name did not really stick until the Mexican war of the Mid-1840’s. Heeding the call, “Remember the Alamo”, Sam Huston led an army of Tennessee volunteers to fight for Texas independence. Tennessee gained the nickname “Volunteer State” from its overwhelming response to this call.
Tennessee has always heeded the call to military service to our country. With the coming of the War Between the States, the volunteer tradition continued on both sides of the conflict. The partisanship that the country experienced also split the residents of the state. As the second most populous Confederate state, Tennessee contributed the second highest number of Southern soldiers behind only Virginia. Tennessee also sent more soldiers to the Union armies than all the other Southern states combined. Most of the troops that fought for the Union Army came from East Tennessee and Williamson County area.
As a side note, Sam Huston was the only man who was the governor of 2 states. He was the 7th governor of Tennessee and the first governor of the newly formed Republic of Texas. The city of Huston was named in his honor.
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