American Civil War: RIP at its last pensioner!

As we unbolt the statues of Confederate Generals across the southern United States, we learn that American Civil War Pensioner Dies in North Carolina last week, 155 years after the end of hostilities. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down!

She was 90 years old and received a monthly check for $ 73.13 from the Veterans Administration.

His father, Moses Triplett, was a Confederate soldier who deserted the Southern Army in 1863 to join Union forces shortly before the Battle of Gettysburg. It probably saved his life: 734 of the 800 men in his former unit were killed, wounded or taken prisoner during the fighting, a bitter defeat for the Confederates and a turning point in the war.

Irene’s mother, 28, married her 78-year-old father in 1924. When he was born, he was 83 years old. The young women and their parents were looking for old men to marry who had fought in the American Civil War, so that they could quickly receive a widow’s pension guaranteed for life. Children of veterans were also eligible.

Living in North Carolina after the end of hostilities proved to be extremely distressing for Moses Triplett and his family: a majority of the state’s population still adored the Southern Confederation. He was considered a traitor and despised. Irene said in an interview in 2014 that she had a difficult childhood, beaten by her teachers and harassed by other students because she was the daughter of a “renegade”.

In 2003, this time was the widow of a war veteran who died at the age of 93. Gertrude Grubb had married John Janeway, 81, when she was 18. John fought on the Union side in the 14e Illinois Cavalry Regiment. Gertrude continued to receive her veteran’s widow’s pension 67 years after the death of her husband.

But not all widows and daughters of soldiers who fought in the American Civil War were equally blessed financially. The last known widow of an American Civil War veteran, Maudie Hopkins, died in 2008. At the age of 19, in 1934, she married veteran William Cantrell, 86, of Arkansas. Cantrell joined the Confederate State army at the age of 16.

Maudie Hopkins did not receive a widow’s veteran pension, because Arkansas, one of the Confederate states, had passed a law in the 1930s stating that women who married Confederate Civil War veterans would no longer be eligible for a pension. Too many young women were taking advantage of the situation.

Irene Triplett and Gertrude Grubb were not the last widows or daughters of American war veterans of the XIX ware century to receive pensions. According to the Veterans Administration, 84 surviving spouses and children are currently receiving benefits related to the Spanish American War of 1898.

Another surprising aftermath of the American Civil War could have ended in the end these days. The US military, which had accepted for a century and a half that some of its bases were named after generals who had rebelled against the Union, had finally decided to rename them. Ten army bases, all located in former Confederate states, are named after felonious generals.

Trump vehemently opposed it. It is not the first time that he has taken the side of the southerners. In 2017, he estimated that American history was “torn to pieces” by the debunking of statues of heroes from Confederate slave states.

Gone with the wind!

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