I'd say this scenario was often repeated. My 3rd Great Grandfather was furloughed from the 48th Alabama to go home on leave on May 1, 1864. He would have a 150mile trip home. He was listed Absent Without Leave for the remainder of the war, and upon review of Union POW records, he had fallen into Federal hands on the way and spent the last year as a prisoner.
The same fate befell one of his commanding officers at the same time.