Bad Choices, Bigger Picture

Today in History, December 17: 1862 – Even our heroes make misguided decisions. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant issues General Order 11, expelling all Jewish people from the area he commands, Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky. During the war, trade in the South’s staple, Cotton, was severely restrained, which of course led to a black market trade. It became a real problem for the Union Army in the west. Grant felt it was being driven by Jewish profiteers and ordered them expelled. After complaints from the Jewish community and Congress, President Lincoln quickly rescinded the order. Grant would go on to gain Lincoln’s…and the nation’s trust. But this was not his finest moment.

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