by David Sims
ELBERT C. Sims was born in 1830 in Bryan County, Georgia to Jacob Sims and Martha Brown. He married Mary Ann Hughes and had five children. He fought in the American Civil War on the Confederate side, with Hardwick’s Mounted Rifles.
He died on 17 February 1865 — from trauma and hypothermia — in Point Lookout POW Camp, Maryland, United States.
The Union forces had Negro guards — all of whom were extremely strict and easily provoked: Officious Black sadists looking for any excuse to shoot a White man, deprive him of food, or cause him to slumber to his death in the snow — running the military prison, which had the worst reputation for prisoner abuse following the battle at Gettysburg.
The Blacks guarding the prisoners were from the Union’s 36th US Colored Infantry Regiment, the 5th Massachusetts Colored Cavalry, the 3rd and 4th Maryland Colored Regiments, and the 24th and 28th Colored Infantry Regiments.
Elbert Sims was my great-great-grandfather.
If he had not had a short time with his wife near the end of the the Civil War, before his capture and the mistreatment that led to his death, then his last child, Winfield Washington Sims, would never have been born. And, consequently, neither would I.
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