One Civil War Veteran's Pension Remains on Government's Payroll

One child is still receiving payments from her father's service in the Civil War.


Three Confederate prisoners near Gettysburg, Pa. in 1963. More than 150 years after the Civil War began, the government is still paying benefits from it.


The last surviving soldier from the Civil War died more than 55 years ago, but the U.S. government is still paying out a veteran's pension benefits.

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As of January, the child of one Civil War veteran is still receiving benefits from her father, according to records from the Department of Veteran's Affairs. Last year, two children of veterans were still on the benefits roll for Civil War pensions, but the numbers changed when one of the children passed away.

"The Department of Veterans' Affairs provided benefits to two children of Civil War veterans for the past several years," says Randy Noller, a spokesman for the VA. "One, unfortunately, passed away last summer at the age of 93."

The other child of a Civil War veteran continues to receive benefits and lives in the southern United States, Noller said.

For comparison, the government is still paying out pensions to 58 children of Spanish-American War veterans, 2,192 children of World War I veterans and 10,733 children of World War II veterans.

Although Noller said he could not disclose personal information about the recipient due to privacy regulations, both The Associated Press and The Daily Mail reported that the remaining individual receives about $876 every year.

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The individual who recently died was a man, born around the year 1920, who lived in Tennessee, according to The Daily Mail. The remaining individual who is still receiving benefits is a woman who was born around 1930 and currently lives in a nursing home in North Carolina, The Daily Mail reported.

Veterans' children under the age of 18 are eligible to receive pension benefits, and those payments can be extended if the person meets certain disability requirements.

According to VA benefits guidelines, a child may be eligible if he or she "became permanently helpless" before turning 18.

Noller said that the children of the Civil War veterans were mentally handicapped and deemed incapable of caring for themselves.

The last Union veteran, Albert Woolson, died in 1956 at age 109, and the last Confederate veteran, John Salling, died in 1958 at age 112.

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