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By Jeffery I. Richman
If you’re familiar with the phrase “the dustbin of history," you’ll shudder to learn that it’s almost where the extraordinary story of Brooklynite and Civil War captain Samuel Sims ended up. But fate intervened. First a huge cache of his letters and personal drawings were rescued from a garbage truck in California, and second, a trove of Sims’s photos and letters were discovered in a trunk in Connecticut basement. Who was Sims? The Brooklyn Daily Eagle wrote that he was “as brave a man as ever drew a sword.” In 1886, 22 years after his death in battle, his former comrades banded together to pay for an extraordinary gravesite monument here at Green-Wood. A few years back, Jeff Richman, Green-Wood's historian, negotiated the purchase on behalf of The Green-Wood Historic Fund of the Sims Collection--objects and papers lovingly saved for more than a century by Civil War Captain Samuel Sims's descendants and his fiancée's family. In this book, Richman, using these unique items and other new discoveries, tells Sims's fascinating story with its many dramatic arcs: his loyal service and death in battle, the Confederate who returned Sims's sword, and the erection of his Green-Wood monument. This is the tale of a leader in war who was so admired by his men that they called him "The Gallant Sims." The twists and turns of this story are remarkable. And they are all here in this fascinating book about Captain Sims - published with the generous support of the Furthermore Foundation.