Tennessee is known as the Volunteer State. The nickname started during the war of 1812 due to the volunteer soldiers from Tennessee, especially during the battle of New Orleans. Any Tennessean can tell you the state nickname for Tennessee but I bet the majority can’t tell you why.
During the battle of the Alamo in 1836 famous Tennessean Davy Crocket led a group of 12 Tennesseans known as the “Tennessee Mounted Volunteers”. In the Mexican-American war the secretary of state asked for 2800 volunteers from Tennessee, he ended up with 30,000. Sam Huston led the army of Tennessee volunteers to fight for Texas independence from Mexico. Huston used the famous phrase “remember the Alamo” to rally his troops to a victory.
It was after this famous charge by Tennesseans led by Sam Huston when the nickname of the Tennessee Volunteers really stuck and the Volunteer State was born. Second only to Virginia, Tennessee contributed the most soldiers to the cause of all the southern states.
What people think of today when they hear Tennessee Volunteers
The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, or UT, is home to the popular SEC football the Tennessee Volunteers. Or more commonly referred to in Tennessee as simply “the vols”. Due to UT football, the state nickname has become widely known across the entire country. Few states have state nicknames as commonly known as the volunteer state does.
In addition to the football team, UT has very popular mens and women’s basketball teams. Tennessee orange is a commonly known color throughout the world of college sports. Even though it’s not the prettiest color fans wear it proudly.
Other Tennessee nicknames
Other lesser known state nicknames for Tennessee are The Big Bend State, Hog and Hominy State, The Mother of the Southwestern Statesmen but not quite as catchy as the Volunteer State.