Why Tennessee is Referred to as the “Volunteer State”?

Stuart Deming
Stuart Deming


Tennessee, one of the 50 states in the United States, is often referred to as the “Volunteer State.” This nickname has been used for over two centuries, and there are several reasons why Tennessee is called the Volunteer State. In this blog post, we will explore the history behind this nickname and its significance to the state of Tennessee.

The first and most commonly cited reason for the state’s nickname is its involvement in the War of 1812. Tennessee played a significant role in the war, sending more than 27,000 soldiers to fight in the conflict. This was an impressive feat, considering that Tennessee’s total population at the time was less than 300,000 people. The state’s willingness to volunteer its soldiers earned it the nickname “the Volunteer State.”

But Tennessee’s history of volunteerism did not start with the War of 1812. Even before that, during the American Revolutionary War, it is suspected that Tennessee sent over 2,000 soldiers to fight for the cause of independence. These soldiers were not conscripted but rather volunteers who believed in the cause of freedom and were willing to put their lives on the line for it.

The state’s commitment to volunteerism did not end with the War of 1812 either. During the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848, Tennessee once again sent a large number of volunteers to fight. In fact, when Washington requested 2800 recruits to be sent from Tennessee, they had 30,000 men volunteer; earning it the nickname “the Volunteer State” once again.

Tennessee’s commitment to volunteerism continued into the Civil War, although this time it was split between the Union and Confederate armies. Tennessee was the last state to secede from the Union and was also the first state to be readmitted after the war. The state’s involvement in the war is a complicated history, but one thing that remains consistent is the bravery and dedication of the soldiers who fought on both sides. Once again, Tennessee’s soldiers were volunteers who were willing to risk their lives for a cause they believed in.

Tennessee’s nickname has also been attributed to the state’s response to the call for volunteers during World War I and World War II. In both wars, Tennessee sent a large number of soldiers to fight, and once again, these soldiers were volunteers.

In addition to the military, Tennessee has a long history of volunteerism in other areas as well. The state has a strong tradition of community service and volunteer work. This includes everything from disaster relief efforts to volunteer fire departments to community organizations that work to make their communities a better place to live.

In conclusion, Tennessee is called the “Volunteer State” for several reasons, but most notably for its history of sending volunteers to fight in wars. From the Revolutionary War to the present day, Tennesseans have shown a willingness to put their lives on the line for causes they believe in. This spirit of volunteerism has also been evident in other areas, such as community service and volunteer work. Tennessee’s nickname is a testament to the state’s history and the dedication of its people

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