Tullahoma is a city in Coffee and Franklin counties in southern Middle Tennessee. The population was 18,655 at the 2010 census. In 2019 the population was estimated to be 19,555. It is the principal city of the Tullahoma micropolitan area (a 2009 estimate placed it at 99,927), which consists of Coffee, Franklin, and Moore counties and is the second largest micropolitan area in Tennessee.
Tullahoma was founded in 1852 as a work camp along the new Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. Its name is derived from the Choctaw language, and means "red rock".
An alternative explanation (see Sam Davis Elliott's Soldier of Tennessee and sources cited therein) of the name is that Peter Decherd, who donated the land for the railroad right-of-way (and was therefore given the right to name two stations along the line), named one station Decherd, after himself, and the other as Tulkahoma (later changed to Tullahoma). Tullahoma was the name of Decherd's favorite horse, which had been named for a Choctaw chief captured by Decherd's grandfather. (There was also a town called Tullahoma in Mississippi, which later changed its name to Grenada.)
The earliest settlement was by farmers from Virginia and North Carolina. Using African Americans slave labor, they developed plantations for tobacco and hemp.