The federal government was trying to buy low in the South (by price ceilings) and sell high in the North. It was theft, pure and simple. Military officers were cashing in on the deal. Northern citizens wanted in on the deal. This included Jews. The military deeply resented this intrusion into their economic territory. So, Grant and Sherman singled Jews out as the visible representatives of the competing trade.
This incident is representative of the resentment that middlemen who have been granted favors by the civil government show toward “unpatriotic” outsiders who attempt to squeeze into a controlled market by means of price competition. This reduces the profits of the favored few — “the chosen.”
For a defense of how Jewish businessmen view money and business, which upsets liberal intellectuals, whether Jews or gentiles, read Rabbi Daniel Lapin’s book, Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money (2002). Commandment 1: “Believe in the Dignity and Morality of Business.” The other nine are subordinate to this one.