This Week in the Civil War - 478

Jan 7, 2013

The American Civil War exposed profound evils in American society.  While General Ulysses S. Grant played a central role in the war’s outcome, he also perpetrated one of its more unfortunate infamies. 

On January 6, 1863, President Lincoln rescinded Order #11, recently issued by Grant in December, which barred all Jews from the states of Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.  In issuing the order, Grant accused Jews of profiteering from the black market trade in cotton. 

According to the American Jewish Historical Society, Order #11 provoked protests from Jewish communities throughout the North and a visit by Jewish leaders to the Executive Mansion.  A contrite President Lincoln observed: “to condemn a class is, to say the least, to wrong the good with the bad."  Grant apologized for Order #11 after the war.