Jews persecuted during Civil War

Lewis Regenstein
Posted February 3 2007

The students who object to Confederate symbols and apparel ("Hollywood students
clash on whether Confederate themed clothing should be banned," by Douane
James, Jan. 27) must be unaware of which side persecuted Our People.

On Dec. 17, 1862, in the worst official act of anti-Semitism in U.S. history,
Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant issued his infamous "General Order No. 11,"
expelling the Jews "as a class" from his conquered territories within
24 hours.

And Grant also issued orders on Nov. 9 and 10 of that year, banning southward
travel in general, stating that "the Israelites especially should be kept
out … they are such an intolerable nuisance, that the department must
be purged of them."

As a result of Grant’s expulsion order, Jewish families were forced out of
their homes in Paducah, Ky., Holly Springs and Oxford, Miss.

Other top Union officials endorsed the order, and it was not until Jan. 4,
1863, that Lincoln had Grant’s odious order rescinded. But by then, Jewish families
had been expelled, humiliated, terrified and jailed and some stripped of their

Grant’s Nazi-like decree and his other atrocities should serve to remind us
what the South was up against, and why many native Southerners revere their
ancestors’ courage, and take much pride in this heritage.

Copyright 2007, Sun-Sentinel Co. & South Florida Interactive Inc.

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