Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18, 1862

December 18, 1862:  Gen. Grant has issued an order expelling all Jews from his military district:

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 any one 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.

Later, a regretful Grant would write a letter of apology that he meant only to cleanse the district of the scourge of cotton speculators (especially those with whom the general’s father, Jesse Grant, was in cahoots, and who happened to be Jews). 

In the meantime, Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and his cavalry are behind Union lines leading a nasty raid into West Tennessee and Kentucky, and Earl Van Dorn has collected a small division of 2,500 cavalry and has poised himself east of Grant’s troops in Oxford for a raid of his own.

---Rebel mounted troops under Gen. Forrest enter Lexington, Tennessee today and engage in a 3-hour battle with Federals of the 11th Illinois Cavalry, under Col. Ingersoll, in which the Federals are driven out, leaving two cannon to Confederate capture. The Confederates capture 140 Yankee riders, including Col. Ingersoll. Forrest destroys the supplies there.

---Gen. Longstreet issues a letter of congratulations to the men of his Corps, wherein he cites them for their valor and steadfastness:

. . . yet notwithstanding he knew them to be steadfast veterans, they still kindle in him a new admiration by the remarkable firmness with which defended Marye's Hill. A more frightful attack of the enemy has not been seen during the war; they approached within thirty paces of your lines, again and again returning with fresh men to the assault. But you did not yield a step; you stood by your posts and filled the field before you with slain. The general commanding congratulates the troops upon the humiliating retreat to which the invader has been forced. Every such disaster to his arms brings us nearer to the happy and peaceful enjoyments of our homes and our families. . . .


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