The American Civil War ended in 1865. That’s 155 years ago, ancient history one might say and yet the last few widows of Civil War veterans only died a few years ago. In fact the last child of a Civil War veteran died only in June 2020. Her name was Irene Triplett and she was the daughter of a father who fought in the Union Army from 1863 until 1865.
There were several other such men and women, until a few years back. Irene was the last one alive. She died at the age of 90, in 2020. She had been born in 1930. Her father, who had fought for both the Confederacy and the Union during the Civil War, was aged 83 when he married her mother; their union was Mose Triplett's second marriage.
Irene Triplett grew up on her father's farm in Wilkes County, North Carolina. According to Triplett, she suffered a difficult childhood and was regularly beaten by both her parents and schoolteachers. Classmates teased her about her father whom they denounced as a "traitor".
Triplett's education ended at the sixth grade and, in 1943, she moved with her mother and brother to a poorhouse, where she remained until 1960. She later lived in private nursing homes until her death.
Since the death of her father in 1938, Triplett collected $73.13 per month from the Department of Veterans Affairs. She was eligible to inherit her father's pension due to cognitive impairments which she suffered, qualifying her as the helpless child of a veteran.
The total amount she received was about $73,000, or $344,000 when adjusted for inflation. Widespread public awareness of Triplett's status occurred in 2013 as the result of a Daily Mail story about her.
After the 2018 death of Fred Upham, the son of William H. Upham, she became the last surviving child of a Civil War veteran.
There were quite a few such women still alive and breathing until about a decade ago. And as some of the old veterans still managed to impregnate their much younger spouses, there were a few children around as well until just a few months ago.