Hyundai Alabama, AL. Information Page
The Yellowhammer State
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."
The memory of the Native American presence is particularly strong in
Alabama. Among Native American people once living in present Alabama were
Alabama (Alibamu), Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Koasati, and
Mobile. Trade with the Northeast via the Ohio River began during the
Burial Mound Period (1000 B.C.-A.D. 700) and continued until European
contact. Meso-American influence is evident in the agrarian Mississippian
culture that followed.
The French established the first European settlement in the state with the
establishment of Mobile in 1702. Southern Alabama was French from
1702-1763, part of British West Florida from 1763-1780, and part of
Spanish West Florida from 1780-1814. Northern and central Alabama was part
of British Georgia from 1763-1783 and part of the American Mississippi
territory thereafter. Its statehood delayed by the lack of a coastline
(rectified when Andrew Jackson captured Spanish Mobile in 1814), Alabama
became the 22nd state in 1819.
The state of Alabama seceded from the Union on January 11, 1861 and became
the Alabama Republic and on February 18, 1861 became a Confederate state.
While not many battles were fought in the state, it contributed about
120,000 soldiers to the Civil War. After the war a provisional government
was set up in 1865 and Alabama was officially readmitted to the Union on
July 14 1868.
The cradle of the Confederacy during the Civil War, Alabama was at stage
center in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
According to some investigations, the tribal name Alabama must be sought in the Choctaw tongue, as it is not uncommon for tribes to accept a name given them by a neighboring tribe. Inquiry among the early Indians themselves appears to have yielded no information about the meaning of the word. The Rev. Allen Wright, a Choctaw scholar, translated the name as thicket clearers, compounded of Alba meaning "a thick or mass vegetation," and amo meaning "to clear, to collect, to gather up."