The last person to collect a Civil War pension died at age 90 on Sunday.
Irene Triplett qualified for federal support as a “helpless” child of a veteran due to mental disabilities, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Wilkesboro, North Carolina, nursing home where Irene Triplett lived said she died from “complications following surgery for injuries from a fall.”
Her father, Mose Triplett, defected from the Confederate Army to fight for the North in 1863, which led to Irene Triplett’s ability to seek federal aid in the form of a pension of $73.13 from the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to TheWSJ. (RELATED: ‘Decorating The Graves Of Comrades’: Memorial Day Celebrated More Than 150 Years Ago)
When Irene Triplett was born in 1930, her mother was 34, and her father was 83 — such an age gap was not unheard of at the time, TheWSJ reported. Civil War veterans had a need for care and an access to a steady pension during the Great Depression.
Irene Triplett collected $73.13 from the Department of Veterans Affairs, a benefit for her father’s military service in the Civil War https://t.co/t6Bi8MYTHU
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) June 3, 2020
Irene Tripett suffered physical abuse from school teachers and her parents, according to TheWSJ. She and her mother endured mental disabilities and lived in the Wilkes County poorhouse together.
“I didn’t care for neither one of them, to tell you the truth about it,” Irene Triplett told TheWSJ in 2014. “I wanted to get away from both of them. I wanted to get me a house and crawl in it all by myself.”
She was visited by a pair of Civil War buffs who would send her money to spend on Dr. Pepper and chewing tobacco.
“She’s a part of history,” Dennis St. Andrew, one of her supporters and a past commander of the North Carolina Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, told TheWSJ. “You’re talking to somebody whose father was in the Civil War, which is mind-bending.”
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