A one-of-a-kind link to the Civil War has died.
Irene Triplett, who had been collecting the last government pension from the conflict, died this week in a North Carolina nursing home at the age of 90, according to The Wall Street Journal.
She had been collecting $73.13 a month from the Department of Veterans Affairs for her father’s service in the Civil War – a conflict that ended 155 years ago.
And amazingly, she’s linked to both sides of America’s bloodiest chapter.
Her father, Mose Triplett, started out fighting for the South in the Confederate 53rd North Carolina Infantry Regiment, then switched to the 26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.
But just before Gettysburg, he deserted – which turned out to be a smart move. The Journal notes that the 26th was practically wiped out in the battle, with 734 of the 800 men killed, wounded or captured.
He eventually switched sides, joining a Union unit known as “Kirk’s Raiders,” which specialized in raiding and destroying Confederate supply lines.
The Journal notes he was despised back home in North Carolina after the war as a result.
He remarried to a much younger woman very late in life, and in 1930 the couple had Irene. Born with cognitive disabilities, she was eligible for the pension as the disabled child of a veteran.