DeForest F. Wheeler was born in 1834 in Canada, the son of Henry (b. 1790) and Ann (b. 1808).
Connecticut native Henry married New York-born Anne and they settled in New for some years. Sometime between 1833 and 1834 the family moved to Canada and between 1836 and 1844 settled in Ohio. Sometime after 1846 henry moved his family west and by 1850 had serttled on a farm in Wright, Ottawa County, Michigan where Deforest attended school with two of his siblings. His father and several siblings were still living in Wright. Ottawa County in 1860.
DeForest was 28 years old and possibly living in Kent County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. He was reported as an ambulance driver from September of 1862 through March of 1863, and was absent sick in the hospital from April through July, although he was also reported as a deserter on April 1, 1863, at Detroit. Apparently he had been furloughed in March for 30 days, and was to have returned on April 1, but failed to report and was thus classified as a deserter. In fact, he was transferred to Company A, Twelfth Veterans’ Reserve Corps in June of 1863 and was mustered out as a Private of the VRC on December 30, 1864.
He apparently reentered the service on February 8, 1865, as a First Lieutenant in the Two hunded and third Pennsylvania Infantry and was possibly transferred to Company B Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania infantry.
It is not known if DeForest ever returned to Michigan.
He was married to Pennsylvania native Anna S. (b. 1845).
Deforest and his wife eventually settled in Texas by 1878 and he was probably the same “D. T.” Wheeler who, in 1880, was working as a stone cutter and living with his wife and daughter in Precinct 2, Grayson County, Texas. In any case, DeForest was living on North Houston Avenue in Denison, Grayson County, Texas in 1890, reportedly suffering from a wounded ankle.
In 1884 he applied for and received a pension (no. 393901) for service in the Third Michigan, the VRC as well as the Pennsylvania regiment.
DeForest probably died in 1891, and probably in Texas.
In October of 1891 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 437354).