I ordered what the Wisconsin Historical Society had on Darius Townsend in the Red and Blue Books. He is not in the Red Books.
Townsend Darius Private Enlisted June 10, 1861 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by Captain Hibbard for 3 years. He was mustered in July 13, 1861 at Madison. Age 20, Single, Dark eyes, Light Hair and Complexion, 5′ 8″ Tall.
Rest of the page tells us his hometown which is unreadable in its entirety and that he was discharged in summer of 1862. But we know he was in the federal hospitals all summer from the carded medical records.
The final digital is an enlargement of the remarks:
May 5th to 9/62 Ab. sick to Williamsburg, Va May 8, 1862
May 10th 1862 Reported as “Deserter” since October 20/62 per GO #162 from HD Army Potomac.
Des. List 2/3/63 sent sick from Williamsburg May 5/62
MC Discharge summer 62 disability
Rept AG USA Charge of desertion not removed
The carded medical records from the National Archives tell us that Darius was at the USA Hospital (College) Williamsburg, VA in May 1862, probably got there May 22nd. It then lists him as a transfer to USA Hospital (Wheaton) in Yorktown, VA on May 30, 1862. He was then sent to Newport News USA General Hospital near Fort Monroe, VA and was remaining in the hospital on June 1, 1862. On October 30, 1862 he was admitted to Hampton USA General Hospital in Fort Monroe, VA for diarrhea and was Returned to Duty on Dec. 30, 1862.
Being persistent, while ill, and travelling all over Virginia to keep up with your company does not sound to me like someone wanting to desert.
He may have deserted on Dec. 30, 1862 but his family never saw him again.