Tennessee earned the nickname “the Volunteer State” by sending 2,000 willing soldiers to fight in the War of 1812. Now a new exhibit at the Tennessee State Library and Archives chronicles the exploits of those soldiers – as well as other Tennesseans who have served in the military before and since.

This new exhibit, titled The Volunteer State Goes to War: A Salute to Tennessee Veterans, covers everything from the veterans of the Revolutionary War who helped found our state to Tennessee men and women serving in the military today.

The exhibit showcases the experiences of the state’s veterans and tells the stories of how ordinary men and women made America a better place through their courage and perseverance. Featured items include the World War I photographs of Luke Lea, a former U.S. Senator and founder of the Tennessean newspaper; a letter from George Washington to future Tennessean Colonel Meigs; and a resolution commemorating the firing of the first shot in the Spanish-American War by the USS Nashville.

“It is very important to celebrate the victories and acknowledge the sacrifices of those Tennesseans who have served in the military to protect the freedoms we enjoy in this country,” Secretary Hargett said. “I hope as many people as possible will see this exhibit and be reminded of the bravery and honor of Tennessee’s veterans and active duty military personnel.”

Revolutionary War
Revolutionary War
The War of 1812 and Indian Wars
The War of 1812 and Indian Wars
Mexican-American War
Mexican-American War
Nashville General Hospital, No. 15, Division 1, May 9, 1865
Civil War
Spanish-American War and Philippine-American War
Spanish-American War and Philippine-American War
World War I
World War I
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War