Last recipient of Civil War pension dies at 90

Irene Triplett, the last person to receive a pension from the American Civil War, has passed away at age 90.

Triplett died Tuesday after surgical complications following a fall at a North Carolina nursing home, according to an obituary in The Wall Street Journal.

She was the daughter of Mose Triplett, who fought for the Confederate and Union armies.

According to, Mose Triplett defected to the Yankees after realizing he was on the losing side of the war.

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He fell ill before the Battle of Gettysburg, where nearly 92% of his unit was wiped out.

Years after the war, Mose married Elida Hall — his second wife. In 1930, the 34-year-old Hall gave birth to Irene Triplett.

By this point, Mose Triplett was 83 years old. He died in 1938 at the age of 92.

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Irene Triplett, whose father fought on both sides of the American Civil War, has passed away at age 90. (Photo by Tony Savino/Corbis via Getty Images)

But his decision decades prior to switch sides qualified him and his family for a pension.

“The Veterans Pension program provides monthly payments to wartime Veterans who meet certain age or disability requirements, and who have income and net worth within certain limits,” the Department of Veterans Affairs states on its website.

One of the VA’s requirements is service during an eligible wartime period. Mose Triplett’s service falls so far into the past, it is no longer listed with the likes of the first and second world wars, the Korean War or Vietnam.

Still, in accordance with the VA’s motto — “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” — Mose Triplett’s pension began when the war ended in 1865.

Upon his death, his first wife collected monthly payments. It then passed on to Irene Triplett.

The VA paid the sum of $73.13 to her every month until her death. By that time, the Tripletts had collected the pension for 155 years.

This story was reported from Atlanta.