Full transcription of text follows:
Brest, France. July 28th, 1919 Dearest Mother: This war is something awful. The end is pretty nearly in sight, provided I don't go completely raving mad in the meantime. We have reach Brest, and from the minute of our arrival here, the miles and miles of typewriting that has been necessary, and the multitudes of inspections, has certainly kept me going. Since landing, my valient top and clerk and myself have burned three o'clock electricity and been up promptly at ten minutes before six. This being the only officer in a company that is preparing to "partee" is no joke, and for the time at least, I figure that I am earning all that Uncle Samuel puts out. Just as fact as I think that something is one, or that all of certain type of equipment is in the hands of the different crooks that I call soldiers, why along pops up some fellow and says "Lootenant, some one stole my raincoat", or "I can't find my razor" or some other such wail. It's terrible for then I have to swear my honour completely to pieces, trying to save the poor devil from contributing lots of cash to the US treasury. Outside of that I am bien heureuse, or something like that, meaning at peace with the world at large. It's a great life if you won't weaken, and I haven't weakened yet. It is only because all of the members "of this command" are now swearing to a lot of affidavits in the next room that I have been able to steal the typewriter long enough to write this. Going Home! Say, it surely is a great, grand and glorious, feeling! I can't really appreciate it yet; it hardly seems real, In less than a few days, to be aboard a ship headed HOME! I can't get it through the thing I carry on my shoulders. It's been such a long time now that one gets more or less accustomed (that word looks al wrong) to the idea of being away. Yet you know, I can't leave France exactly cheerfully, for every where that I have been they have treated me so splendidly that I can't help but have an awfully warm corner reserved somewhere inside of me for ces cheres Francaises. There isn't a town that I have been in for more than a week in this whole land that doesn't hold people who have invited me to break their break and drink their wine - people whom I shall always remember and love. Of course I know all the wild tales that one hears about the "thrifty French", and how they set up prices for Americans, and managed to acquire quite a lot of the soldiers' pay, and most of it is true - but - eh well, what's the use of explaining; they're fine. From the first C.O. that I had to the poorest family with whom I was billeted, everyone has done everything possible for me. Which reminds me that I have two letters to write to French families, and a petite fume-cigarette en iveire to mail. Must get back to work. I'm so happy these days that I just can't tell it in a letter.
Please don't imagine that my paper work is like this letter - all an incoherent jumble, full of mistakes. When I write home, I sort of relax a bit. My love to you and Dad- 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||July 28, 1919|
|Year Range from||1919|
|Year Range to||1919|
Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
World War I