The Confederate Soldiers Who Left Home

The Puzzler

RAY: When the Civil War ended, tens of thousands of defeated, tired and hungry Confederate soldiers began their long journeys home. When they reached their destinations, many of them discovered that their homes, farms and the lives they knew were gone.

Most of them stayed, but thousands left to put their lives and their livelihoods back together, and in many cases, they were carrying something. It was a tool, in fact. There soon came to be a name for these young men, and over time that name evolved into a word that is still in common use today.

The question is, what's the word? And for bonus points, what's the origin of the word?

TOM: I know the answer already!

RAY: I'm sure you do! You were looking over my shoulder!

TOM: It's carpetbaggers! No?

RAY: You couldn't be farther from the right answer.

TOM: All right, I'll keep working on it.

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic

Promo tile

Rocket Fuel