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

jhenschel_0003_0001

July 19, [1917] Honorable James H. McCord, Adjutant General, Jefferson City, Mo. Dear Sir:- Not having the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with you, I procured a letter of introduction from Mr. W. T. Kemper who advised me that he knew you very well personally, and I enclose this letter of introduction herewith. I naturally would have preferred presenting this letter of introduction to you in person, but as I am the only active officer of our Company, it is very hard for me to get away from the office at the present time. Mr. Kemper advised me that you frequently came to Kansas City on your way to St. Joseph and should you be in our city in the near future and it be convenient, I would greatly appreciate the pleasure of meeting you personally. I beg to address you not so much as a Commanding Officers, but preferably as a citizen of the United States. The subject which I have to submit; namely - the requested discharge from the National Guard of my son James Edward Henschel has doubtless been passed upon by you in perfunctory way and without your being fully cognizant of all the facts in the case. I will try to explain the situation as briefly as possible. My son was attending the University of Missouri where he had expected to complete a course in law when the call came in the Spring of 1916 for troops to be used in Mexico. My son in conjunction with about seventy-five other University boys enlisted in the Company that was organized at Columbia by Captain E.E. Major and he served with the Company during their full stay on the border. It appears that virtually all of the boys who went into the Company from the University had applied for a [discharge] upon some ground or other and such discharges were granted, and I also understand that some of these former members are now with the field service Unit in which my son enlisted and [accompanied] to France. My son was given to understand that this Unit which was organized in the Uni-ersity and consisted of members [ms illegible: 1 wd]

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[ms illegible: 1 wd], would be transferred to the [ms illegible] on the arrival of our troops there and from all that I have [been] able to learn this will doubtless be done. The time during which this Missouri University Unit was organized and the time in which they left for France was as you must certainly know very short. I personally urged upon my son to get his discharge from the Militia in the regular way before leaving and he made his application for a discharge under date of June 6th, 1917, but unfortunately there was considerable delay in the matter of this application finally reaching your office, so that the application did not get to you until about the time that the Unit sailed for France. I do wish to assure you that my son had no intention to shirk a duty, but felt that he was doing that which would place him in the position to best serve his country. If I understand the law rightly, then there is no restriction placed upon anyone belonging to the Missouri National Guard from leaving the State during such time as they are not called for active service, so that in my opinion, no special criticism can be attached for the reason that my son left the State. I agree with you, however, that it was unwise for him to enlisted with some other organization for service before being properly released from that to which he was attached, and I have absolutely no excuse to offer on this score, except that the boy felt assured that the requested discharge would be granted and that he was acting right in taking the step which he did. I wish to assure you that we are not slackers in our family. I have three other boys, the youngest being fifteen years old who would enlist in a minute if he could do so. My oldest son who is twenty-two years old graduated this year from the Mining School at Rolla and has enlisted here in the Engineers. My third son who is only nineteen years old and therefore would not be subject to draft was very anxious to go in some capacity and enlisted in Hospital Unit No. 28 which was organized here. My wife is very active in Red Cross work and no call has come to us up to the present time but what a prompt response was made. I do not want a slur cast upon any of my boys naturally and while I do not believe that any action would be taken or that he is subject to Court Martial for having left the State of Missouri during the time when the Militia was not in active service, still I very much prefer to have my son hold a clean record and if you have any boys of your own, you must certainly appreciate how I feel regarding this matter. I hope that my son will return and will be [able to]

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[Page 3] complete his law course at the University here and it certainly would be a great regret to me as also to him to place anyone in a position to say that he left the State Militia under a cloud. Now in view of all the facts, I sincerely hope that you will reconsider your action in the matter of disapproving the application of discharge which was presented to you by my son. I am returning you herewith several letters etc accompanying the application and I trust that I may hear favorably from you on the same. If you still feel that as an officer you cannot do your duty fully by granting this discharge, I wish you would kindly return all papers to me. Thanking you in advance for you courteous attention to this and hoping to meet you sometime in the near future in person, I remain, Yours very truly, LHH.B

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 July 19, 1917
Year Range from 1917
Year Range to 1917
People Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
Subjects World War I
Letters (Home)
Military discharges
Search Terms American Field Service (AFS)