Jacob G. Klein was born in1836 in West Hofen (?), Germany.
Jacob immigrated to America sometime before the war broke out, and eventually settled in western Michigan.
He stood 5’5” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was a 25-year-old shoemaker possibly living in Muskegon when the war broke out. He reportedly enlisted on July 8, 1861, for five years, in Company B, Sixteenth U.S. infantry. However, on July 29, 1861, Congress enacted a law that enlistments in the army were to be for three years. In any case, Jacob was charged with deserting from the Sixteenth U.S. Infantry on October 9, 1862.
Nevertheless, Jacob was 28 years old when he enlisted in Company C, Third Michigan infantry, on February 6, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Muskegon, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 18 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, was absent sick in March and possibly still absent sick when he was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was reported absent sick since June 15 at Portsmouth Grove, Rhode Island, and mustered out on June 18, 1865, at Detroit.
It is not known if Jacob returned to Michigan after the war, and in fact Jacob probably settled in Chicago where he resided for many years.
He was married to Betty or Bietje (d. 1888), and they had at least four children: John (b. 1867), Henry (b. 1869), Herman (b. 1873 and Louise (b. 1875). (All of his children were born in Illinois.)
By 1880 he was working as a laborer and living with his wife Bietje and children in Des Plaines, Cook County. By 1882 he was living at 293 Mohawk Street in Chicago when he first applied for and received a pension (no. 251516).
After his first wife died Jacob married Julia Edmunds on December 24, 1888 in the town of Harmony (state unknown), and they had at least one child: Rosetta (b. 1890).
He was still living in Illinois in 1892, but by 1894 and 1895 he was living in Janesville, Rock County, Wisconsin. At one point he lived at 410 S. Jackson Street in Janesville.
Jacob died in October of 1913, in Janesville and was presumably buried there.