Carpetbaggers are known as the men and sometimes women, who crossed the border from the North into the South. After the Civil War the term referred to one thing only. Disgust.
That is what both sides of the war felt and said about the people who left the North for the South to glean their share of the new resources that the country was pumping into the Reconstruction process.
Just like today, when the Federal government throws money at an issue or a state, the hordes of people looking to make a fast buck will be there.
The Civil War brought sorrow and pain to both sides and it was the likes of people who wanted to take advantage of the south solely for financial gain, that made things much worse for the former Confederacy during reconstruction.
The Union was setting up fund shelters of sort, places where there was to be money, shelter, food, and most importantly, for the folks of the North, jobs.
Most people accused of participating in this practice, were typically innocent. They were just the average Northern-American that was attempting to better their positions in said country. It is easy to realize that the South had a ton of reasons to distrust any and all things that were Northern by definition.
The people of the recently defeated Southern states had an axe to grind against anything that the people of the Union had to do with. It mattered little if they was white or black.
The only true meaning to the still-upset Rebel person was that there was this Yankee walking towards them on the railroad track and they usually but not always, were carrying a sack of sort.
The people of the South saw them as a very bad thing. Here they had just been defeated as a nation, and the victors were now coming to their country and squatting.
Taking the measly jobs that were still around or the great new ones which were intended for the people of the South, to help them rebuild.
Reconstruction leaders knew all too well the reality of what was happening yet there was little to nothing they could do about it.