Irene Triplett: The Last Surviving Civil War Pension Recipient

On Veterans Day, we honor the brave men and women who served in the military as well as the surviving family members of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It is our duty and privilege to care for those survivors---in fact, the United States government is still sending monthly pension checks to the child of a Civil War veteran. That's right: A child of a soldier who fought in the Civil War is still alive. Her name is Irene Triplett, and her father wore a blue and gray uniform during America's bloodiest war. Here is his remarkable story.

The Civil War

The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861 and lasted for four terrible years. It was a truly terrible time in American history, when brothers were literally fighting brothers. At least 620,000 soldiers died in the war, while countless others were wounded or imprisoned.

Long ago... but was it so?

As school children, we all learned about the Civil War, but reading about it in our textbooks takes a long time. It is difficult to understand that the man whose father fought in the Civil War could still be alive today. Let's look at the math to see how this is possible.

Irene Triplett, The Last Civil War Pension Recipient

Irene Triplett, now 89 years old, is the daughter of Moss Triplett, who joined the Confederate Army in 1862. He was only 16 years old. The next 70 years were eventful, certainly, but one of his highlights was his marriage to his second wife, Elida Hall, in 1924. At 78, Triplett was half a century older than his bride. Six years later, she bore him a daughter, who was just eight years old, when her father died a few days after returning from a 75th anniversary celebration in Gettysburg.

Moss Triplett, Civil War Veteran

Moss Triplett was living in North Carolina in 1862 when he joined a group of men from his town who enlisted in the Confederate Army. After their unit, the 53rd North Carolina Infantry, marched on Gettysburg, most of them fought and died on that sacred ground. Triplett, however, fell ill with a fever before reaching Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, causing him to be admitted to an army hospital while his friends dozed off.

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