Last Civil War-era pensioner dies in North Carolina

It’s the end of an era.

It has been 155 years since Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia.

A century and a half since the guns fell silent in that bloodiest war on American soil.

Fifteen and a half decades since the troops of the Union and the Confederacy turned their heads towards home.

And, now, the last surviving recipient of a Civil War-era pension has died in North Carolina.

Not a soldier of that war, of course — that would be headline news everywhere.

But instead the last surviving child of one pensioner whose disabilities qualified her for the sum of $73.13 a month.

Irene Triplett’s father Moses was born around 1847, the youngest son of Luke and Martha Triplett of Watauga County, North Carolina.1 He enlisted, first, in Company C of the 26th North Carolina Infantry — a Confederate unit — in March of 1862.2

And, in June of 1863, he deserted from Confederate service3 — setting up the next chapter of his story: his enlistment in the 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry in August of 1864.4 Yes, that was a Union outfit. He was discharged in August of 1865,5 returned home, married and raised a family.6

Triplett pension

His honorable discharge from that service qualified Triplett for a pension and, the records show, he began to receive that pension in March of 1907.7 He was, at that time, 60 years old, and he drew the pension until his death in 1938.8

But he did something else in the meantime: after the death of his wife Mary, he married again in April of 1924, at the age of 78. His bride, Lydia Hall, was 28 years old.9 And sure as night follows day, the 1930 census shows the result: a daughter, Irene, three months old.10

Eight years old when her father died in 1938, so qualified for a child’s pension. Disabled throughout her lifetime, so qualifying for continued pension payments as an adult. And 90 years old this past Sunday, May 31, when she died in Wilkesboro of complications from surgery for injuries after a fall.11

The end of an era, indeed.

RIP Irene Triplett.


Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “RIP Irene Triplett,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 3 June 2020).

SOURCES

  1. See 1850 U.S. census, Watauga County, North Carolina, population schedule, p. 122A (stamped), dwelling 307, family 310, Moses Triplett; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 June 2020); citing National Archive microfilm publication M432, roll 648.
  2. Moses Triplett, Pvt., Company C, 26th Regiment, North Carolina Troops; Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of North Carolina, microfilm publication M270, roll 331 of 580 rolls (Washington, D.C. : National Archives and Records Service, 1960); digital images, Fold3 (https://www.Fold3.com : accessed 3 June 2020), Moses Triplett file.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Moses Triplet, Pvt., Company B, 3rd Regiment, North Carolina Mounted Infantry; Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of North Carolina, microfilm publication M401, roll 24 of 25 rolls (Washington, D.C. : National Archives and Records Service, 1963); digital images, Fold3 (https://www.Fold3.com : accessed 3 June 2020), Moses Triplett file.
  5. ibid.
  6. See e.g. 1920 U.S. census, Johnson County, Tennessee, Civil District 8, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 133, p. 273 (stamped), dwelling 177, family 181, Mose Triplett; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 June 2020); citing National Archive microfilm publication T625, roll 1748.
  7. Moses Triplett, Pension No. C831,410, for service in Company B, 3rd Regiment, North Carolina Mounted Infantry; Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900, microfilm publication T289, roll 388 of 765 rolls (Washington, D.C. : National Archives and Records Service, 19?); digital images, Fold3 (https://www.Fold3.com : accessed 3 June 2020).
  8. North Carolina State Board of Health, death certificate no. 352 (1938), Mose Triplett; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 June 2020).
  9. See “Local News in Town and County,” North Wilkesboro (NC) Hustler, 9 Apr 1924, p.1, col. 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/ : accessed 3 June 2020).
  10. 1930 U.S. census, Wilkes County, North Carolina, Elk Township, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 1, sheet 7-B, dwelling/family 117, Irene Triplett in Moze Triplett household; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 June 2020); citing National Archive microfilm publication T626, roll 1728.
  11. Michael M. Phillips, “Last Person to Receive a Civil War-Era Pension Dies,” Wall Street Journal, 2 June 2020; digital version reprinted at MSN.com (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/ : accessed 3 June 2020).
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