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Last US citizen receiving a Civil War pension dies in North Carolina

The last American citizen receiving a Civil War pension has died in North Carolina at the age of 90. 

Irene Triplett, whose father fought for the Union Army between 1863 and 1865, passed away Sunday in Wilkesboro from complications following surgery. 

Irene suffered from from mental disabilities and therefore qualified for federal financial support as a ‘helpless adult child of a veteran’, according to The Washington Post. 

She received a monthly check of $73.13 from the Department of Veterans Affairs, which went towards expenses for the nursing home where she lived. 

Mose Triplett was 83 years old when his much younger wide, Elida, gave birth to Irene in 1930.

Irene Triplett, whose father fought for the Union Army between 1863 and 1865, passed away Sunday in Wilkesboro from complications following surgery. She was the  last American citizen receiving a Civil War pension

Irene's father Mose Triplett (center) fought in the Civil War of 1861- 1865. He is pictured in a photograph taken in the early 20th Century

Irene’s father Mose Triplett (center) fought in the Civil War of 1861- 1865. He is pictured in a photograph taken in the early 20th Century 

Mose Triplett first enlisted with the Confederate Army at the age of 16. He eventually defected and became a Union soldier. He died at the age of 92, and is buried in North Carolina

Mose Triplett first enlisted with the Confederate Army at the age of 16. He eventually defected and became a Union soldier. He died at the age of 92, and is buried in North Carolina

Irene grew up in poverty in the Appalachians of North Carolina, and never learned to read or write. She became hooked on tobacco at the age of seven, and left school in the sixth grade. 

In an interview with The Washington Post in 2014, she revealed she was teased by her peers about her father, who was dubbed a ‘traitor’ because he had defected from the Confederate Army to the Union Army partway through the Civil War. 

Mose Triplett initially enlisted with the North Carolina Infantry Regiment for in 1862, aged just 16. 

However, he fell ill while his regiment was headed to Gettysburg and he was subsequently hospitalized in Virginia. 

He later made a daring escape after his regiment suffered losses during the Battle of Gettysburg and he enlisted with the Union in 1864 at the age of 21. 

He went on to marry his first wife, Mary Watson, in 1880, before she died in 1923. 

President Lincoln speaks with Union officers at the Battle of Antietam in Maryland during the Civil War

President Lincoln speaks with Union officers at the Battle of Antietam in Maryland during the Civil War 

This illustration shows the capture of North Carolina's Fort Fisher. Mose served in B Company of the 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry between October 20 1864 and August 8 1865

This illustration shows the capture of North Carolina’s Fort Fisher. Mose served in B Company of the 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry between October 20 1864 and August 8 1865

Mose's registry with the Confederate army is pictured. He fought for the North Carolina Infantry Regiment from 1862 until 1863

Mose’s registry with the Confederate army is pictured. He fought for the North Carolina Infantry Regiment from 1862 until 1863 

A year later, at the age of 78, he tied the knot to 28-year-old Elida Hall. They then welcomed Irene in 1930. 

In a 2014 interview with The Record, Irene she did not discuss the Civil War with her elderly father before he died. 

‘He never would talk about it,’ she stated. 

Irene has been receiving her Civil War pension since the mid-1950s. 

She has spent more than half a century in nursing homes due to her disabilities. 

Irene has been receiving her Civil War pension since the mid-1950s

Irene has spent more than half a century in nursing homes due to her disabilities

Irene has been receiving her Civil War pension since the mid-1950s. She has spent more than half a century in nursing homes due to her disabilities. She is pictured in photos taken in 2014 

However, in recent years, she has been visited by journalists and historians eager to hear more about her life as the daughter of a Civil War soldier. 

One man Civil War buff told The Washington Post: ‘She’s a part of history, You’re talking to somebody whose father was in the Civil War, which is mind-bending.’  

There are now very few Americans left alive with direct connection to the Civil War.  

The last Civil War veteran, Albert Woolson, died in 1956 at 109. 

Gertrude Janeway, who was the last widow of a Civil War veteran, died in 2003 at age 93. 

In recent years, Irene has been visited by journalists and historians, eager to hear more about her life as the daughter of a Civil War soldier

In recent years, Irene has been visited by journalists and historians, eager to hear more about her life as the daughter of a Civil War soldier

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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