General Order No. 11 1862
General Order No. 11 was a controversial order issued by Union Major-General Ulysses S. Grant on December 17, 1862, during the Vicksburg Campaign, that took place during the American Civil War. The order expelled all Jews from Grant's military district, comprising areas of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Grant issued the order in an effort to reduce Union military corruption, and stop an illicit trade of Southern cotton, which Grant thought was being run "mostly by Jews and other unprincipled traders." In the war zone, authorized by the Lincoln administration, the United States licensed traders through the Army, which created a market for unlicensed ones. Union military commanders in the South were responsible for administering the trade licenses and trying to control the black market in Southern cotton, as well as for conducting the war.
At Holly Springs, Mississippi, Grant's Union Army supply depot, Jews were rounded up and forced to leave the city by foot. On December 20, 1862, three days after Grant's order, Confederate Major General Earl Van Dorn's Confederate Army raided Holly Springs, preventing the potential expulsion of many Jews. Although delayed by Van Dorn's raid, Grant's order was fully implemented at Paducah, Kentucky. Thirty Jewish families were roughly treated and expelled from the city. Jewish community leaders protested, and there was an outcry by members of Congress and the press; President Abraham Lincoln countermanded the General Order on January 4, 1863. Grant claimed during his 1868 Presidential campaign that he had issued the order without prejudice against Jews as a way to address a problem that "certain Jews had caused". Historians and Grant biographers have generally been critical of the order.