Full transcription of text follows:
(That's my address. Some long - eh?) Lt. J.E. Henschel M.T.C. School #1- A.P.O. 722-A Am. Ex. F- Decize (Nievre) France- December 13th/1918- Howdy Butch (Berthold A. Henschel)- Let's see, it's been quite a while since I've written to you, hasn't it. But then, "ladies first". That's why most of the news - if there is any - is in the letter to the sisters - but you can just bet there's a whole lot of Christmas going straight to one B.A.H. in this. Speaking of Christmas - you have a present coming, though it may not arrive until your
[Page 2] next birthday. Saw it in Paris when I went through on my way to my new station at Decize, but was broke then and couldn't get it. A very trick little knife; one of these things you hang on your front and wonder "who in thunder ever thought they could sharpen a pencil with that?" Quite useless - but you've got it coming sometime. The two girls are also "next" on - well, I'll not say what it is. Girls can't keep a secret you know - so E (Elizabeth) and M (Mary) are going to have to wait till I send
[Page 3] their -? - to them. How's school coming? You and Elizabeth working hard? You all must be growing up fast. Do you know - you will be juniors next year? Gee whiz! You two have got to civilize us - the other three - then we return. It'll be up to the two of you to teach me how to dance again and the proper way to go in to dinner. I suppose that you are going to a lot of parties - now that the war is over. Be sure to give my very best regards to Miss Wynne and
[Page 4] Miss Harriman. I promised Miss Wynne very faithfully that I would write to her - and honestly I don't know whether I kept that promise or not. The Germans captured my address book last spring - so that now I can't write even a card to her. It' a bum excuse - isn't it? - but don't neglect to tell her. While doing errands - stop off at the Trengembas' to say "Good morning" for me. Thank Min for the very nice letter. It was good of her to write; if I had any more music
she could certainly have it. A letter's worth a lot more than sheet music. (It's a sort of music - is a letter - that's always welcome.) And then, just before supper some night, you are to cut 'cross lots and try to take the place on Mrs. Balling's back door step of some one who loves her very dearly. Dear old lady! She's a might fine sort of person, isn't she, Butch? (I wouldn't be awfully mad if you kissed her for me, Butch, but then --) Finally - when you have stepped across the street and shaken hands with the Doctor
[Page 6] and Mrs. Bellows for me, you can call it "quits" for a while. Perhaps those good people are not living in their home across the way right - but if they are around and you don't say "Howdy" for me - you have a scrap when I get home. And I shall - some time or other. Seems to me that this letter isn't so much to you as to a lot of other folks. Would like to have had you with me on a trip we made the other day. It wasn't a
[Page 7] truck but a Caddillac (I can't spell it!) right this time. Getting up in the world - eh? Went over a lot of badly shot up country looking over refuse to be salvaged. The country of course is ghastly and gives one the "creeps", as do all the old battle grounds over here. They are not at all nice. I went almost to Germany that day, and if there had not been baked potatoes and beef steak for supper - would have told the driver to "keep right on".
[Page 8] The interesting side of the drive was that in all the tons of "junk" - there wasn't a single German thing left that could be shipped to the States as a souvenir! The "dough boys" certainly must have given a lot of work to the post-men at home. Write me again - soon. Of course - I am getting no mail while on this tour, but I am hoping to find a "complete set" of it when I return to Decize. "See you later" - 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||December 13, 1918|
|Year Range from||1918|
|Year Range to||1918|
Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
World War I