By Bob Nesoff

Various organizations have come to the fore in order to make sure our veterans have what they need, especially wounded vets. All too often the government falls short in that department.

However, in some cases Uncle Sam continues to pay…and pay…and pay.

Irene Triplett, the daughter of Mose Triplett, a veteran of both the Confederacy and Union Armies in the Civil War, is receiving a dependent’s check from the government of $73.13 every month.

You gotta be kidding, right?

Nope. It’s all true.

Old Mose, born in 1846, was in the Confederate Army at the outset of the war. He deserted, headed north and joined forces with the Union military.

After the war Mose married Eledra Hall, who just happened to be 50 years younger than him.

The old soldier must have been pretty active, because in 1929 when he was 83 years old, Eleda became pregnant and gave birth to Irene.

Maybe it was the strain of fatherhood, but nine years later, coincidentally on the 75th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg, Mose gave up the ghost and passed away. Irene and Eleda lived on after him and his baby girl is still alive today at the age of 87, Irene is perhaps the last person still with us who has such a direct connection to that long ago war and its combatants.

The government promised to pay a sort of pension to the wives and children of veterans. Eleda died many years ago, but Irene lived on and is still collecting the pension. To date she has received approximately $46,347.72.

Now that’s not a princely sum, but the $73.13 back in those days was quite an amount, especially when cowboys at the end of a long trail drive probably received about $50 for a month’s work.

It could have cost the government a lot more because Irene had a brother and several other siblings. There’s no record of what happened to the siblings and if they also received the pension. Her brother took off after a family spat and was never heard from again. There’s no record of whether or not the brother or other siblings ever received the pension.

So, here we are, 151 years after the Civil War ended and we are still paying for it. At least our government honors its debts…some of them.

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