1000 x 90

Fascinating Feature in The Wall Street Journal: Local is Last Person on VA Benefits Rolls for the Civil War

Compiled by Jesse Wood

May 13, 2014. The Wall Street Journal posted a fascinating story that highlights the costs of war that endure long after troops have either died or returned to home from the battlefield. The story – “Still Paying for the Civil War | Veterans’ Benefits Live On Long After Bullets Stop” –  was published May 9.

In the feature, readers meet Irene Triplett, 84, of Wilkesboro. She is the lone person on the Department of Veterans Affairs benefits rolls that stem from the Civil War. Her father Pvt. Mose Triplett was born in Watauga County in 1846 and after his first wife died in the ‘20s, he married Elida Hall, who was 50 years younger than Triplett. According to the article, Irene Triplett was born when Pvt. Triplett was 83.

Here is an excerpt from the beginning of this story:

Each month, Irene Triplett collects $73.13 from the Department of Veterans Affairs, a pension payment for her father’s military service—in the Civil War.

More than 3 million men fought and 530,000 men died in the conflict between North and South. Pvt. Mose Triplett joined the rebels, deserted on the road to Gettysburg, defected to the Union and married so late in life to a woman so young that their daughter Irene is today 84 years old—and the last child of any Civil War veteran still on the VA benefits rolls.

Ms. Triplett’s pension, small as it is, stands as a reminder that war’s bills don’t stop coming when the guns fall silent. The VA is still paying benefits to 16 widows and children of veterans from the 1898 Spanish-American War. Read more