The US Government is Still Paying One Person a Civil War Pension More Than 150 Years Later
Even though the Civil War ended more than 150 years ago, one descendant of a Civil War veteran is still being paid a monthly pension. Irene Triplett receives $73.13 from the Department of Veteran Affairs every month. According to US News, she is the last child of a Civil War veteran to receive a pension.
Her father, Mose Triplett, was born in 1846 and was initially a Confederate soldier until he abandoned them and joined the Union. According to the Wall Street Journal, Mose’s first wife died, leaving him with no descendants.
However, in 1920, he married Elida Hall who was reportedly 50 years his junior. The pair had five children, but only two of the siblings survived, Irene and her brother. Mose was 85 and 87 when the two were born. He died in 1938 a few days after returning from the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Irene, who is now 86 years old, claimed her childhood was lacking. “I didn’t care for neither one of them, to tell you the truth about it,” she said referring to her parents. She said she would face physical abuse often. “I wanted to get away from both of them. I wanted to get me a house and crawl in it all by myself,” she said.
While Irene is thankful for her small sum of money from Veterans Affairs, she doesn’t like to be interviewed, so US News reached out to a representative at the VA, Randy Noller, who spoke on Irene’s situation.
“VA has an obligation to take care of our nation’s veterans no matter how long. It is an honor to serve and care for those who served our country,” he said in an email.
It may seem hard to believe, but pensions are still being paid from this 19th-century war. According to The Times, 46 descendants of those who fought in the Spanish-American War are still being paid by the VA.
A subsection of Title 38 of the United States Code explains the situation. “Whenever there is no surviving spouse entitled to a pension, the Secretary shall pay to the children of each Civil War veteran who met the service requirements of section 1532 of this title a pension at the monthly rate of $73.13 for one child,” it reads in part.
Analysts expect that pensions from the lengthiest war in recent history – the campaign in Afghanistan — will ultimately pay out trillions of dollars to surviving descendants. While it may seem like an unbelievable amount of money to pay out, the families of our soldiers who have given everything deserve it.