After a display of marked valor during the War of 1812 at the Battle of New Orleans, Tennessee earned the name of “the Volunteer State.” In the years to follow, Tennessee lived up to this reputation, furnishing more soldiers to the Confederate and Union armies than any other Southern state during the Civil War. And, later, Tennessee sent more National Guard soldiers to the Persian Gulf than any other state.
During World War II, Tennessee played a primary role in the creation of the atomic age. The total war effort reshaped the face of the state from predominantly agricultural to increasingly urban and industrialized.
Visit a museum, battlefield or monument. Delve deep into our Volunteer State’s colorful tapestry of war stories, inspiring heroes and seemingly impossible undertakings.
War of 1812
The War of 1812 thrust Tennessee into the national spotlight, showing the world that the young America was a force to be reckoned with.
The World Wars
Sgt. York, World War I hero and Hollywood darling, came home to open a school. The Secret City of Oak Ridge, once the best-kept secret of World War II, is now a renowned center for science. These are but two Tennessee legends in the fight for freedom during the World Wars.
America’s Civil War was fought in towns and on farms of Tennessee. Crisscrossing armies lay incredible devastation to the state, seeking to gain control of Tennessee’s rivers and rail, critical arteries to the Deep South.