Tennessee Volunteers - How the Nickname Originated . . .

Home Inspector with Complete Home Inspections, Inc. TN Lic#050

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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Melissa Grant
A Serendipity World - Greenbackville, VA
The Law of Attraction In Life & Business
Great History Lesson Micheal ! Thanks for sharing !
Mar 11, 2008 11:18 PM #1
Gary McAdams
GMAC Schwartz Property Sales - Key West, FL
Cool piece of information.  My father-in-law lives in Paris TN and is a Volls lover.  I must have 5 or 6 shirts he has sent me.  I'm going to, if I have your approval, forward this to him today.  He loves them.  I might head up there in May to go see Memphis in May then spend a couple days in Paris.  Always wanted to go see Pigeon Forge too.  Last time we went up to see him all I wanted to see was a true still and Elvis's house.  He's a bail Bondsman so he was able to show me several stills but Graceland was closed for renovations.  I was bummed.
Mar 11, 2008 11:21 PM #2
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina
Michael - great history lesson.  I read stories about Davy Crockett and Sam Huston when I was younger but didn't know most of what you've shared!
Mar 11, 2008 11:41 PM #3
Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros
Nice post I was a history major so appreciate this type of information thanks
Mar 12, 2008 12:10 AM #4
* Rate A Home
Rate A Home - Saugatuck, MI

Michael, thanks for the history lesson. So many every day sayings that we forget there had to be a start to them some where in history, now we know.

Nice ThemThem to the men who served way back then.

Mar 12, 2008 01:32 AM #5
Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc
Benchmark Realty LLc - Nashville, TN
I'm starting to pay more attention to historical markers now. Here's one from brentwood I noticed yesterday.Cottonport Historical Marker
Mar 12, 2008 02:03 AM #6
Sean Allen
International Financing Solutions - Fort Myers, FL
International Financing Solutions

Great History lesson and you are correct, not many people know/knew how Tennessee got its nickname as the Volunteer State. I was not aware of Sam Huston being the Governor of two states....pretty neat. Thanks for the info.

Sean Allen

Mar 12, 2008 02:27 PM #7
Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK
I didn't realize the bit about Houston being governor of Tx and TN either...  learned something new today.  Ain't no blog like a teachin' blog. :) 
Mar 12, 2008 06:05 PM #8
Joseph Ellman
Realty Executives- Williams-Sykes Realty - Poughkeepsie, NY
Michael - Thank you for this history lesson - very interesting information!
Mar 12, 2008 08:54 PM #9
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