I read an article claiming that the US federal government is still paying out a Civil War survivor pension today, over 150 years after the Civil War ended. Is this accurate?

In 1924, Mose Triplett, who had served in both the Union and the Confederate armies, married a woman who bore him a daughter named Irene. Born five years later, she is still getting survivor benefits from the Civil War, 153 years after it ended.

  • 1
    He served in both armies?
    – Richard
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 19:39
  • 8
    @Richard Yup, seems so. Switched over to the Union side after falling ill or possibly faking illness in order to desert (and getting to miss out on Gettysburg as a result). Lucky guy. Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 19:42
  • 1
    Just the Union survivor benefits, though, right? :D Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 17:59
  • 1
    He married a woman who bore him a daughter in 1924, and she was born 5 years later? o_O
    – Aaron
    Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 18:42
  • @Aaron I assume that's referring to 5 years after they got married
    – gfos
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


According to multiple recent news reports and articles, this is an accurate claim.

According to the US News article:

UPDATE, May 26, 2017: Randy Noller, a spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed Irene Triplett is still alive.


Irene Triplett – the 86-year-old daughter of a Civil War veteran – collects $73.13 each month from her father's military pension.

  • 4
    Are you able to tell if this is the only person who is being paid a Civil War survivor benefit? If so, then when she one day dies, the government will no longer be paying that to anyone, correct? Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 22:32
  • 43
    @Thunderforge Reportedly, yes, she's the only one. There's a nice chart in the US News article. Of course, once she dies, there's still 80-something people receiving pensions from the Spanish American war, which was also fought in the 19th century. Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 22:37
  • 14
    @HopelessN00b I would just like to point out this little tidbit from that article, which emphasizes just how out of the ordinary this situation is: "Mose Triplett was 83 when Irene was born, nearly 87 when her brother Everette came along."
    – David K
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 18:21
  • @DavidK, I was gonna, the math doesn't seem to add up, but after surviving a Civil War, living to a ripe old age, and still making babies? Wow.
    – user34422
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 22:34
  • 2
    @AytAyt Medical advances decrease infant mortality. Decreased infant mortality means you don't need to have 6 children for a good chance of having at least one survive to adulthood (historically, so that your adult children could look after you in old age). So, by decreasing infant mortality, medical advances have been indirectly responsible for decreasing the number of children couples generally have. (And the social changes bit, at least in our part of the world is that adult children aren't explicitly seen as retirement plan anymore, of course). Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 20:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .