I doubt Joshua was a 3rd brother, because I have a good list of the siblings from the 1850 census and elsewhere. I also recently found a reference to his death that says he was formerly of Palermo, KS, which doesn't fit with my family.
As for the A.J. Wilson in Iron County, mine was Andrew Jackson, not Alexander. He was already married with a daughter, and he was still in the 5th MSM on this date.
In the last year I found the muster records for Henry and A.J., but they only tell on note cards what they were owed and charged at each muster and that they deserted on May 14, 1863. Nothing that helpful. I still wonder if there is anything in existence with more detail.
Back to the 5th MSM. I've been trying to figure out what I can on my own, and I found this record of the battles and skirmishes that the 5th was involved in. If you have anything more detailed I would appreciate it. I'm having a difficult time finding out much about each battle too.
Duty in Central District of Missouri till February, 1863. Operations in Carroll, Ray and Livingston Counties July 27-August 4, 1862. Grand River August 1. Near Barry Section August 14. Iron County September 11. Liberty and Sibley's Landing October 6 (Cos. "A," "B," "D" and "K"). California House October 18. Independence February 3, 1863.
One of your other posts says that the regiment was originally to be disbanded on Feb 4, 1863. This was a day after a battle at Independence. Was there a connection between the two events? Then, the date was postponed until June 22, 1863. However, the St. Joe Morning Herald article of March 11 says that Penick was already removed and soldiers were being distributed among the EMM. The regiment service record only shows that they were in operation till February 1863 too.
So what was going on in between Feb and June? Do you know the date Col. Penick was removed? Was the regiment led by someone else in between, and if so whom? Where were they and what were they doing, sitting on their hands?
Going from what Bruce said about the deserting soldiers not feeling wanted, is it reasonable to assume the soldiers had been loyal to Penick and didn't want to continue with someone else, or were the remaining soldiers just tired of being in limbo?
Finally, what prompted men to join the MSM? My general guess is that men who were gung-ho for the Union from the start, joined the Federal troups. Then, those who later wanted to protect their homes from the marauders in Missouri joined the MSM. Then everyone else who wasn't really interested or was undecided got drafted into the EMM.
I'd appreciate any comments you or Bruce might have on any of this.