Dirty Southern Secret

user submitted pictureOur fascination with Southern Jewish culture has led us to a most disturbing, little-known event in American history:
In December of 1862, in the height of the Civil War, Union General Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order No. 11, commanding all Jews to be expelled from the Southern states of Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, giving some long term residents just 24 hours notice.
Grant wrongly believed that Jews were controlling the black market in cotton, and while certain traders may have engaged in questionable business practices during the war, this blanket prejudice caused the American Jewish community to scream with indignation.
After staging protests in Cincinnati, New York, Philadelphia and St. Louis, Jewish merchants took their grievance all the way to Washington, where user submitted picture President Abraham Lincoln immediately revoked the order on January 3, 1863, two days after the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves.
Lincoln, who “drew no distinction between Jew and Gentile” and would allow “no American to be wronged because of his religious affiliation” told Grant that “to condemn a class is, to say the least, to wrong the good with the bad.”
Now, we never heard a peep about this incident in public school history classes (what else aren’t they teaching us?) nor in Hebrew school. Sure, American Jews forgave Grant wholeheartedly (he garnered the Jewish vote to win the presidency in 1868) but to dismiss these blatant anti-Semetic history to the point of “lost” seems quite uncharacteristic of us. Even the Southern Jews we know, who grew up whistling Dixie and sported Confederate flag license plates, have never about General Order No. 11. You’d think Southerners, some of whom still bear enough of a grudge against Grant to refer to the Civil War as the “War of Northern Aggression” in certain circles, would be delighted to point out this blight on an otherwise stellar military political career.
Guess it proves that history is written by the winners.
Check out more at Jewish Virtual Library.

3 thoughts on “Dirty Southern Secret

  1. Great article – I knew about General Order #11, but it’s good that you included it here for others to learn. BTW – the word for Jew-hatred is correctly spelled antisemitic (or anti-Semitic) – with an I – from Semite (not “semete,” which is not a real word).

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