Thursday, October 22, 2009

While you're wondering

Hey Vols, this weekend while a delightful little tune is being sung in your honor, the more curious among your number may want to know just what a yellowhammer is. See for yourselves:
Image credit: BBC
The yellowhammer has been the state bird of Alabama since 1927. According to the Alabama Department of Archives & History,
Alabama has been known as the “Yellowhammer State” since the Civil War. The yellowhammer nickname was applied to the Confederate soldiers from Alabama when a company of young cavalry soldiers from Huntsville, under the command of Rev. D.C. Kelly, arrived at Hopkinsville, KY, where Gen. Forrest's troops were stationed. The officers and men of the Huntsville company wore fine, new uniforms, whereas the soldiers who had long been on the battlefields were dressed in faded, worn uniforms. On the sleeves, collars and coattails of the new calvary troop were bits of brilliant yellow cloth. As the company rode past Company A, Will Arnett cried out in greeting “Yellowhammer, Yellowhammer, flicker, flicker!” The greeting brought a roar of laughter from the men and from that moment the Huntsville soldiers were spoken of as the “yellowhammer company.” The term quickly spread throughout the Confederate Army and all Alabama troops were referred to unofficially as the “Yellowhammers.”


Oskie said...

Good stuff, and I didn't know that about the Rebs.

Funny comment from the Vol Historian:

"By the way, the real "Alabama state bird" is a single digit on each hand of most, but not all, Alabama fans, generally seen in the vicinity of the opposing team's bus as it enters the stadium area."

Bo said...

"Alabama, the Jackhammer State!" - Dan Rather