Was issued on December 17, 1862 by Assistant Adjutant General John A. Rawlins and signed by Major General U.S.Grant.
The order was in response to a high degree of profiteering in the sector under Grant's command, which at the time consisted of the Mississippi River and Tennessee. The profiteering, which in part consisted of heavy speculation in cotton, was beginning to hurt the war effort. Rawlins and Grant felt the need to act, but the issuance of this order took a dangerous turn due to their assumption that since there was a large population of Jewish merchants and traders in the area, they were the sole source of the profiteering problem.
The order resulted in a mass exodus of Tennessee Jews who carried their protest over the order to President Abraham Lincoln. The President's response was to order then General-in-chief Henry W. Halleck to cancel the order. Halleck, unaware of the order, immediately telegraphed Grant. "A paper purporting to be General Order No. 11 issued by you December 17, has been presented here. By its terms, it expels all Jews from your department. If such an order has been issued, it will be immediately revoked."
General Order, number eleven, read as follows:
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 within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order.
Post commanders will see that all of this class of people be furnished passes and required to leave, and anyone returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permit from headquarters.
No passes will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application for trade permits.
By order of Major General U.S.Grant
John A. Rawlins
Assistant Adjutant General