Re: Miising Personal Properities
To be frank, who knows? If the body at the end of the battle was in enemy hands, it would have probably been stripped for needed items and or souvenirs. Most bodies left in enemy hands were buried in mass graves and usually there was no effort to identify them from personal effects and no record of names. In some cases where high ranking recognized officer bodies were left in the hands of the enemy, they were sometimes buried in marked graves and/or the opposing side was notified. On rare occasions a body could be returned to the army it belonged to by the opposing army. If the body was recovered by the army it belonged to, depending on the current military circumstances, it may have been buried in a marked grave. The officer's friends may have recovered his personal effects. Sometimes these effects were attempted to be returned to the family, sometimes not, again often depending on the military circumstances. I think more often than not any usable weapons, clothing, acoutrements, etc., would have been divided between his friends as needed. If a soldier died in a hospital of his own army sometimes a list of his personal effects was made and they were sent to his family by the Surgeon in Charge. Again if I may speculate, if your ancestor's body was recovered by members of his particular unit (not just his army), his friends may have recovered his effects. Wether they would have had opportunity, if they had inclination, to return the effects to the family is in my opinion rather doubtful.