“Last person to receive a pension from American Civil War dead at 90”
June 4, 2020 | 10:57pm
Irene Triplett’s father, Pvt. Mose Triplett fought for both sides of the American Civil War.
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Irene Triplett had collected a $73.13 check every month — a century and a half after the war ended — up until her death at the age of 90 on Sunday, according to her obituary in The Wall Street Journal.
There were several factors for the shocking payouts. Triplett’s father, Pvt. Mose Triplett, fathered her during his second marriage when he was just a few weeks away from turning 84 years old.
And Irene, who suffered from mental disabilities, qualified for the pension as a helpless adult child of a veteran, receiving $876 a year. She passed away due to complications with a surgery in a North Carolina nursing home where she resided.
Mose Triplett fought for both sides in the war. First, he enlisted in the Confederacy, fighting for two North Carolina infantries. He was in the 26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment when he became sick as they marched toward Gettysburg and ended up missing the historic battle that led to the killing, wounding or capturing of all but a few dozen in his regiment.
Triplett ran from the hospital and then joined a Union regiment in Tennessee as a Confederate deserter, the Journal reported.
After the war, Mose Triplett ended up marrying Elida Hall in 1924, when she was 34 and he was 83.
The Wilkes Genealogical Society in Wilkes County, North Carolina, first raised awareness of Irene’s unusual story back in 2011, when she was featured in its quarterly publication, The Washington Post reported.
Irene appeared to have a difficult life growing up in Wilkes County, according to multiple reports on her life.
“Irene could not recall much of her childhood and has no recollection of Mose,” wrote the historical society in its article. “She has virtually no memories of fun, presents, friends, neighbors or such, as they lived so isolated, and she had to work on the farm each day, where they primarily raised chicken[s] and kept some hogs and cows as well.
In a feature in the Journal in 2014, Irene said she began chewing tobacco in grade school and was routinely beaten by teachers at school and her parents at home.
Her fellow students would taunt her, saying her father was a “traitor,” before she dropped out after the sixth grade without developing reading or writing skills.
“I didn’t care for neither one of them, to tell you the truth about it,” Irene 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.”
She found peace at the long-term care facility where she spent her final days, telling the Journal it was the favorite place she ever lived as she filled her days watching TV, participating in crafts and attending religious services.