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Catalog Number 1996.51.136DO
Object Name Letter
Accession number 1996.51
Description Full transcription of text follows:


2nd Lt. J.E. Henschel, M.T.C., M.T.C. School #1, A.P.O. 772, Am. Ex. Forces Decize (Nievre), France. November 15th, 1918. Dear Butch: How do you know when you start a letter whether it will be any good or not? You must not "cuss" your letters when starting them; it's bad enough to do so at the close, but at the beginning - well you mustn't do it. Personally, I found your letter very good and pleasant and enjoyed it very much, so you see you must have been mistaken. (It came last night, that of October 4th.) Much obliged; come again, and if it isn't any worse next time, I'll be pleased. Things went along rather funny for a while, Butch. When I first came down here, I dropped suddenly from a sergeant, that is the same sort of acting sergeant that I had been for so many months, and became a private, of the most ordinary class. Then in a day or two, the decided that that was all wrong, and declared that I was still a private, but as I had graduated from a school for officers, was also a cadet. It seems that that is a new thing in this army of ours, so although a private, I had to eat at the officers' mess right along with them and wear a black stripe on my sleeve to show that I was supposed to do so. This would have been perfectly fine, but they neglected to consider that we poor duffers were only drawing the pay of a private, in spite of the black stripe, and so we went most horribly broke right away. For when one draws 88 francs a month and is ordered to pay seven francs a day for his means, something is going to bust. And so we did. Luckily, a few, three in fact, commissions were finally granted by G.H.Q. and my name happened to be among them. After a couple of months I expect to catch up again, and then the old ship will ride the wild waves in great shape. It's a great life, isn't it? Haven't managed to meet Speed yet, although we are both trying. It's mighty hard to do, for one can not tell any one else where he is, except back here (and they don't like it here very much), and even when on does manage to get an address, it's next to impossible to go there. You see, there's a war going on, or was until a day or two ago and visiting isn't on the list of things necessary. The only time that we can get away is when a leave comes due, as it is supposed to do every four months, and the, if one is unlucky - well, it's all in the game. I have not been able to get a leave in the American army yet. He one a year ago August while in French army, but that was a long-time ago. There's a lot of hard work, but it isn't all work by any means. Haven't had a day off duty for almost fourteen months, but that does not mean that I haven't had any fun in that time.


Much obliged for the snap-shots. We all like pictures a lot' next to letters, they are the best thing to get from home. Which reminds me. Tell Mother that I had some pictures taken a bit ago for her, but they were so horrible that I really couldn't send them home. They looked like neither me nor anyone else, I hope. The little place here where they take photographs does not amount to a great deal, judging by what they produced for me so I shall wait until some fine day when I can try again. We have no cameras of our own of course, although after peace is signed they may be permitted - who knows? - but until then, I can't hope to send Mother the pictures she asked for. Some other day, perhaps. I trust that you did well on your cards from school. They are probably old by now, it takes so long for mail to go back and forth. How about it; did you take in football, or basketball? You ought to be able to play that game of basket ball, now that you are stretching out so very long. I can hardly picture you in long "trow"! Gee whiz, you've all grown up! You and Elizabeth will have to teach me the latest kicks and slides of dances when I get home again. Give my love to Father and Mother, and save out a bit for yourself, E- and M-. And write me another letter. Ned.

From the service of James E. (Ned) Henschel, Co. B Reserve Mallet--French Army, American Field Service, Quartermaster Corps, General Hdgts., and Motor Transport Co. 831.
Date November 15, 1918
Year Range from 1918
Year Range to 1918
People Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
Subjects World War I
Letters (Home)
Eating & drinking
Pay records