I have not yet had a chance to read his new book, but a colleague and I are going to Baruch College tomorrow afternoon to hear Dr. Jonathan Sarna discuss his new book When Grant Expelled the Jews. The just released book recounts the story of Grant’s General Order 11 that expelled Jews “as a class” from the territory under Grant’s jurisdiction in December 1862. Lincoln rescinded the order a few weeks later. From what I understand Sarna tells the story with restraint, letting the facts speak for themselves and then explaining how Grant tried to atone for his mistake.
Last night to get ready I again watched Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray, the award winning documentary released last year chronicling the the 10,000 Jews who fought on both sides of the conflict. Most histories of the Civil War that discuss the role of the Jews in the war, if they do that, mention Judah Benjamin and stop there. I am looking forward to hearing Sarna tomorrow and reading the book in the next few weeks. To be continued.