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


December 1st/1918 Near Verdun - France Dearest Mother- This first of the month finds me in the beginning of a journey - object: observation and education. Or rather - the best part of the journey is over and another day or so will find us "observing" to the best of our abilities. The four of us are pretty well tired out, but glad, none the less, to be here. We left Decize at the most unearthly hour of two o'clock Thanksgiving Day morning - leaving rather mournfully the prospects of a turkey dinner. Landed at Is-sur-Lille in the afternoon - to find it the wrong place and hence caught the next train out, which happened to go to Chaumont - a most inhospitable place. Could scarcely find a room, but when we did - at how we did enjoy sleeping. You see - we were hunting G.H.Q. of the 1st Army - and Chaumont wasn't it, so we entrained again. There being a "regulating station" at St. Dizier and it being the business of a regulating station to know where things and folks are, St. Dizier sounded good. But it wasn't. However - I bought myself a bath there - so "it wasn't so


worse". Somerville was the next bet - a bad one. All we found out here was the location of a kitchen where after much pleading we received a real American hamburger - (might mention that while eating this some particularly low minded individual swiped my bedding roll and with it all the clothes I owned - except a raincoat and a change of underwear that I had in a haversack. Thus went Ramsey's two blankets! - and the best part of next month's pay. So life - eh?) Yet - we left there for Souilly - it sounding nice (Sooee) arriving in the morning, about 2:30. That was yesterday. We located a hospital, a prison camp, an aviation field - and the empty buildings of GHQ! being thoughtfully they had folded their tents, pushed self-starter buttons and noisily Cadillac-ed away - the day before! We almost wept. By rare good luck - the next train did not have until late at night, and to spend the afternoon, we walked out of town - About three kilometres out of town we saw smoke coming from some buildings back in some timber, which,


investigation proved were a few "left-behinds" of the C.M.T.O. We reported to the C.O. and here we are, where we were sent. It's a great life all right, but I fear me I will miss those blankets. Pretty cold up here. For the next ten days or so we expect to help in salvage work - cleaning up old deserted ground. At least it looks that way. after that we will report back to the commanding general and go over all units that are left up here. Then back to the school. In the meantime - we inspect and observe and educate and are educated. Have I wished you all the Merry, Harry Christmas I am hoping you will have? My wishes are almost all that I can send this Christmas, but they are the best possible. My love to all the home-folks. Ned. (Pardon the handwriting; it's growing dark, and I am using my knee for a table-) (Use the school address)-

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 1, 1918
Year Range from 1918
Year Range to 1918
People Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
Subjects World War I
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