In John C. Rouse's case, I don't think his desertion was necessarily tied to the morale of Jones' brigade, though that might have been a factor because desertions were an epidemic at that time as you know. These men had been through a very lengthy service including Gettysburg, so many of them would have been both tired and disheartened.
I'll post here some excerpts from my ROUSE file:
John Calvin Rouse had been raised in the Holston River valley of Smyth and Washington counties in southwestern Virginia. In the spring of 1862 he was 32 years of age, making him considerably older than most of his comrades. According to John D. Chapla, the average age of the soldiers in the 48th was 27 years. John Calvin’s first wife, Margaret Fry Rouse, had passed away in 1858 leaving him with two sons, Francis and George, at ages six and four in 1862. Two more sons, James and William, aged 2 and 1 in 1862, had been born to his second wife Sephroney Ashley. John would not have left this young family willingly; there must have been little choice. The pressure of local sentiment toward the Confederate cause and his sense of duty to defend his native Virginia probably forced him to join the Confederate States Army. A considerable amount of sentiment existed in the mountain counties for preserving the Union ; a sentiment which would cause a lot of problems for the 48th as the War continued and would ultimately affect the decisions of John Calvin Rouse.
John was a miller by trade and had accumulated little wealth due to the demands of his wife and four sons with hearty appetites. This lack of financial and social standing accounted for his lowly rank of private. This simple fact probably saved his life, since the 48th had only five officers and perhaps forty men still standing at the surrender at Appamatox Court House in 1865.
John Calvin Rouse was listed on a company muster roll on March 31, 1864 while the regiment was still in winter quarters. He decided to change his allegiance on April 20, 1864 when he was picked up by the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac and was sent to Washington where he took the oath on April 22 before being transported to Philadelphia. Two months later, on July 3, 1864 he was enrolled in Company B of the 3rd Regiment of North Carolina and was re-united with his brother James. James Rouse was sergeant of Company B.
The following was downloaded from the Internet and was taken from research by Cheryl Chasin , email address: History@thepentagon.com with data taken from official records and John G. Barrett’s The Civil War in North Carolina.
“On February 13, 1864, Maj. General Scofield authorized Major George W. Kirk, Second North Carolina Mounted Infantry, to raise a regiment of troops in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, to be known as the Third Regiment of North Carolina Mounted Infantry. Although the regiment was organized as infantry, Maj. Kirk was authorized to mount the regiment upon private or captured horses. The first company was actually organized on June 11, 1864.
By April of 1864, Kirk, now the colonel of the Third, was operating in the Shelton Laurel area of Madison County, NC. On June 13, 1864 began the Third’s best known exploit, the raid on Morganton.” [NOTE: John Calvin Rouse joined this regiment on July 3, so he would not have been involved in the raid on Morganton, but this information is included for historical interest.
JOHN CALVIN ROUSE, Corporal, Company B, 3rd North Carolina Volunteer Infantry, United States Army
Declaration for Original Invalid Pension
State of Tennessee, County of Sullivan
On this 19th day of November A.D. one thousand eight hundred and ninety personally appeared before me. A. L. Snaff? justice of the peace within and for the County and State aforesaid, John C. Rouse, a resident of Morell’s Mills, County of Sullivan, state of Tennessee, who, being by me duly sworn according to law on his solemn oath, deposes, as follows, to wit:
I am the identical John C. Rouse who was enrolled on the 3rd day of July 1864 in Company B commanded by Capt. L.W. McIntoss of the 3rd Regiment of North Carolina and I was honorably discharged at Knoxville, Tennessee on the 8th day of August 1865.
While in the service aforesaid, and in the line of my duty, I was disabled in the manner following, to wit: From exposure during service in the army he contracted spinal Rheumatism which affects his back and shoulders; that the same was contracted on or about December, 1864 at or near Knoxville in the State of Tennessee caused by hardships and exposure incidental to the service.
J. W. Flenner, of Washington, DC signed by John C. Rouse
witnessed by J. H. Parker and J.W. Parker
On October 1, 1898 John Calvin Rouse answered an inquiry from the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions with the following:
ARE YOU A MARRIED MAN? Yes, IF SO, PLEASE STATE YOUR WIFE’S FULL NAME AND HER MAIDEN NAME: Manerva Rouse; Manerva Smith
WHEN, WHERE AND BY WHOM WERE YOU MARRIED? 8 Jan 1891 near Silvicola Post Office. By J.M. Newland at Blountville, Tennessee in County Court Clerk’s office.
WHERE YOU PREVIOUSLY MARRIED? NAME OF FORMER WIFE AND DATE OF HER DEATH.... Sephrony Ashley, died 1879 at Abingdon, Virginia.
HAVE YOU ANY CHILDREN LIVING? IF SO, PLEASE STATE THEIR NAMES AND THE DATES OF THEIR BIRTH. ANSWER: F. M. Rouse born 1855; G.W. Rouse 1857, J.H. Rouse 1859; W. H. Rouse 1861, J.C. Rouse 1865/8; N. Rouse 1870; S.F. Rouse 1874; C.B. Rouse 1863 -. [N. Rouse listed above (Nancy Elizabeth Rouse, wife of John Henry Parker) was the great great grandmother of Brian Todd Cockerham]
DATE OF REPLY : October 1st 1898 SIGNED: J. C. Rouse
1902 Autograph of John Calvin Rouse 1830->1902
great x 3 grandfather of Brian Todd Cockerham
John Calvin Rouse married a 3rd time to Ann C..S. Ireson on 31 Jul 1884 in Washington County, Virginia. Marriage record supplied by Margaret Sowder of Lynchburg, VA. with editing from F. Raymond Parker. Yet a 4th marriage occurred on 8 Jan 1891 to Manerva Smith. Service performed by J.M. Newland at Blountville, TN. John Calvin reported this marriage on his response to a pension inquiry in 1898.
Notes: Re: James Rouse, son of Henry and Margaret and brother of John Calvin – In document prepared by Redmond S. Cole, James Rouse stated that John Calvin Rouse was buried next to their mother Margaret Cole Rouse at Kings Mill. Jonathan King built a grist mill, saw mill and a woolen factory at the mouth of Spring Creek at the South Holston River. John Calvin died after 14 Jul 1904.
This Rouse family has been traced back to Bernard Rausch b. ca 1540 innkeeper of Hornbach near Ober-Moshel in Landsburg county. They're still going strong today in eastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia.