Kicker – Civil War pension


NICK EICHER, HOST: Every month, Irene Triplett received a check from the Department of Veterans Affairs in the amount of $73.13. 

Until her death this week at the age of 90, she was the only American still receiving a pension as a result of service during the Civil War. 

For more than 150 years, the federal government made the payments to her immediate family. 

So how was it that someone received Civil War pension checks in 2020? 

Well, here’s how.

Irene Triplett’s father, Mose Triplett, was a confederate who defected to the North. His service in the Union Army earned him a pension. When he died, his second wife received payments, this is Irene’s mother.

Now, that doesn’t explain the 150-year-chain. Here’s what does: Irene’s mother was nearly 50 years younger than her warrior husband. But when she died, that money went to Irene and she’s the one who received the final Civil War pension check.

It’s The World and Everything in It.


(Photo/Dennis St. Andrew) The gravestone of Irene Triplett’s father, Mose Triplett, in Ferguson, N.C.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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