The Last Person Collecting a Civil War Pension Has Passed Away

Irene Triplett's father deserted the Confederacy for the Union in 1864

Irene Triplett
The late Irene Triplett from a video interview.
Screenshot/YouTube
By Kirk Miller / June 4, 2020 7:00 am

The last person to receive a pension from the Civil War — which ended in 1865 — has passed away.

Irene Triplett, 90, was receiving $73.13 a month from the Department of Veteran Affairs, and was considered a “helpless adult child of a veteran” due to mental disabilities, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Triplett story is quite amazing, earning a front-page feature on the WSJ back in 2014. Irene’s father, Mose, was a Confederate soldier who defected to the North in 1863, deserting his side while in the hospital, as the other troops marched toward a bloody battle in Gettysburg. He later enlisted in the Union regiment, the 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry.

Mose’s daughter was the product of a marriage to a woman almost 50 years younger. While the story is incredible, Irene was not a fan of either parent. “I didn’t care for neither one of them, to tell you the truth about it,” she told the Journal. “I wanted to get away from both of them. I wanted to get me a house and crawl in it all by myself.”

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