I was recently contacted by a cousin of mine who is in the middle of a school project about Civil War ancestors. She asked if I had come across any in our family tree. I hadn’t, but it got me thinking.
After some digging, I managed to find some great information through a “long lost” cousin of mine. Not about a Kline solider, but a Kline minister! John Kline, Jr. was a Brethern martyr who was killed in the Civil War.
As we know, Johanne George Klein arrived in America in 1738 on the “Glasgow” with 348 other passengers. He settled at Amwell, New Jersey. There, he was baptized as a Tunker Brethren and married Dorothy Rebman. Together they raised six sons and one daughter. His eldest son, George Jr. is the grandfather of John Kline the Martyr.
John Kline, Jr. was born on June 17th, 1797 to John Kline, Sr. and Mary Hershey. He moved to Virginia as a child and later married Anna Wampler. He lived his life as a farmer and a Brethern Elder. During the Civil War, John gained permission from officers in both the Northern and Southern armies to enable him to travel across military lines. He was outspoken about his stance against slavery, as well. For this, and his opposition to the war, John Kline was jailed several times. Regardless, he managed to travel over 100,000 miles on horseback spreading the gospel and promoting peace.
John Kline was ambushed and killed on June 15, 1864. A marker still stands where he was martyred. He is buried in the Linville Creek Church of the Brethren cemetery in Broadway, VA.
Thanks to my 6th cousin-twice removed Marty for helping me find this information from the John Kline Homestead. For more information on John Kline and the effort to restore his homestead, please visit the John Kline Homestead website.