Civil War soldier’s diary going home

Let this be a lesson to all those who throw up family bibles on ebay for profit and may God bless Mr. Hammontree for his perseverance

Friday, March 21, 2008
By Dean Baker, Columbian staff writer

While sorting through his late aunt’s effects in Downey, Calif., Mitch Hammontree found a leather-bound book, which he was amazed to discover was the diary of a Confederate soldier.

Now, after a lot of research, Hammontree and his wife, Cindy, have decided to take the diary back to where it was written in Savannah, Ga., more than 140 years ago. Next week, they will hand the little book over to the descendants of the soldier, A.S. Quarterman.

The Washougal couple found the relatives using the Internet and the telephone.

“They have treated us like family,” said Hammontree, 53, a businessman who plans to open a Quiznos sandwich shop at The Crossing, the new development in Washougal, in May.

He also found among his aunt’s effects some letters from his father, who served with Gen. George S. Patton in World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge.

But, he said, the greatest prize was the Confederate soldier’s record.

“It’s really fascinating when you can touch something like this and say, gosh, that’s part of my family history and the history of the country as a whole,” said Hammontree, an avid genealogical researcher.

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