Thanks Vicki for all the states and your hard work !
"The origin of North Carolina's nickname is grounded, at least in part, in one of the state's major products during the Colonial Era -- tar. The tar was made by slowly burning the wood of longleaf pine trees. One legend attributes the name to the laborers who walked out of the woods with the sticky black substance on their shoes. Other stories go back to the Revolutionary War, when North Carolina soldiers continued marching after wading through a river coated with the viscous liquid.
We like the explanation on the state's official web site for its colorful and imaginative dialog. It traces the nickname's source to the Civil War. Retreating soldiers left a column of North Carolinians to battle the enemy alone. Later, the North Carolinians met the fleeing troops and told them for the next battle we'll put tar on your heels to make them stick. Gen. Robert E. Lee, on hearing the story, reportedly exclaimed, "God bless the Tar Heel boys."