general order no. 11 was an order issued by major-general ulysses s. grant on december 17, 1862 during the american civil war. it ordered the expulsion of all jews in his military district, comprising areas of tennessee, mississippi, and kentucky. the order was issued as part of a union campaign against a black market in southern cotton, which grant thought was being run "mostly by jews and other unprincipled traders." in the war zone, 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. grant issued the order in an effort to reduce corruption.
jewish community leaders protested, and there was an outcry by members of congress and the press; president abraham lincoln revoked 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".