Full transcription of text follows:
Private J.E. Henschel- Provisional Co. "A"- American Mission- Motor Transport A.E.F. Reserve Mallet- France- November 30/1917- Dearest Mother- So many things have happened in the past week and a half or two weeks that I would like to tell you. We were away from are base, if it could be called a base, for a number of days on what has proven the most fatigueing as well as the longest trip that our outfit has undertaken. None of us would have missed this convoy for a great deal, but by the same token, we shudder at the thoughts of repetition. We were at the wheel continuously for more than forty-eight hours, our only stops being to replenish the gasoline and oil tanks. Food was most decidedly "not". unpleasant
none the less though unavoidable. With only one driver, the result was that toward the end we were rapidly becoming idiotic. Talk about the "D.T.s"! They were not in it. My favorite hallucination was the sudden appearance along the side of the road of marvelous cities (usually oriental) and massive walls extending to the skies - while the rear of the camion ahead was transformed to a deaths' head ever changing to weird likenesses of past friends. Oh it was horrible at times. Another favorite was the sudden appearance immediately in front of obstacles ranging from an approaching car to a stone wall - which immediately vanished into nothingness upon my abrupt stop. Only once did it fail to vanish - and then
when somewhat to my astonishment, I discovered my camion gently caressing a tree some ten yards or so from the road. I had never imagined such things possible - merely from over, wrought nerves. Almost all of us feel asleep numbers of times, but there was no remedy for it. The Y.M.C.A. again won my heart by appearing in the shape of hot beef boullion in a Ford - whole cans of it. So much for that. We are "home" again and today is Thanksgiving for us - the turkey not arriving in time for yesterday. We had some dinner! Real turkey - and pumpkin pie - and all the other good things - and to top it off - a "movie" at the "Y" - (which I am missing to get this home. Also -
by some hook or crook - your letter of [October] 20 and three copies of the "Star" which from the markings seem to have been following me around France were delivered - which added greatly to my joy and once again caused me to hope that time will bring about the delivery of your packages. Not much to be sure - but still some. We spent this morning attending the decoration of "Bob" Lamont - who as you know lost his left hand while in our old Princeton section. Poor Bob! They gave him a Croix de Guerre with Palms (a mark of especial distinction), but that will hardly replace the hand. He is returning to the States soon. Must close. Lights going out. Love to all those at home. 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.
|Year Range from||1917|
|Year Range to||1917|
Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
World War I
Hallucinations & illusions
Wounds & injuries