Considered the worst anti-Semitic Government act in American history.
Union General Ulysses S. Grant, frustrated by illegal smuggling of cotton for war materials conducted by Northern and Southern speculators, issued General Order #11 from Holly Springs. The order explicitly focused on Jews, anywhere within Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky, whether they were involved in smuggling or not.
“The Jews, as a ‘class’ violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also Department orders, are hereby expelled from the Department [of the Tennessee] within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order…and any returning…will be arrested.”
Cesar J. Kaskel, a Jewish Union supporter from Paducah, Kentucky, quickly organized a delegation protesting Grant’s order to meet with President Lincoln. January 4, 1863, Lincoln, recognizing the anti-Semitic character of the order, rescinded it immediately. Ironically, it was four days after he had signed the Emancipation Proclamation ending Slavery.
The economic impact of the order on Jewish Americans was nominal. The socio-psychological impact upon Jews and America was much greater.