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Episode 109 Bloody Bob Sims and the Sims War

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Choctaw County in southwestern Alabama is named for the Choctaw Nation settlements in the area prior to the removal of Indigenous tribes from the southeastern United States during the Trail of Tears.

From the time Choctaw County was formed in 1847 until the late 1870s the settlers were relatively law-abiding. It was part of the Alabama frontier but sheriffs and US marshals worked together to keep the peace.

For reasons we’ll never know…a man who had been peaceful and law abiding began to stir up trouble with local churches and some of his family members. He began to speak out against man made laws.

By the late 1880s he declared himself a prophet with more than 100 followers in his cult and set off a chain of events that led to a bloody chapter in Alabama history

This is the story of Alabama’s Bloody Bob Sims and the Sims War

Episode Photos

Robert Bruce Sims (Photo: Encyclopedia of Alabama)
Elizabeth Sims (Photo:

Episode Resources

Sims War Siege. Choctaw County Geological Society
Robert Bruce Sims. Find A Grave.
The Sims War Connection. Rebellion Leader Robert Bruce Sims. Campbell Family History
Bad Literature. Bob Sims Paper ‘The Veil is Rent’. The Standard Gauge. September 10, 1891
Robert Sims, Thomas and Young Savage. Strange Fruit and Spanish Moss. December 26, 2014
A Southern Terror: Arrest of the Bloody Bob Sims and His Bad Gang. The Pittsburgh Press. December 27, 1891
Stars Fell on Alabama by Carl Carmer. University of Alabama Press (1985)

Episode Music

Argonne by Zachariah Hickman Licensed under Creative Commons. Bring Me Your Sorrows by Dan Lebowitz. Licensed under Creative Commons. Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use