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

jhenschel_0114_0001

Motor Section, Advance PC, GHQ, APO 930. April 15th, 1919. Dear Mother: The office is rather deserted after supper, and I can by that token find my typewriter at rest. Other times, it is rather too busily employed to admit writing of letters home. Hooray, cheers, etc. THIS letter contains two photos, one of myself (a close up after a strenuous session) and the other, a picture of Harvey all dressed up in my clothes, standing beside a newly confiscated German motorbike. Acknowledging. Many bars of Hershey's. Much gun, stick, chewing. Sundry magazines, arriving from time to time. All of which was very much appreciated. Also, a severe reprimand, likewise well appreciated. In fact, so well that it caused the delay of the weekly wait from Sunday 'till Tuesday abend, that it might be a sort of illustrated edition. Won't be mailed until Wednesday morning, during which time more pictures may appear. Honest, I feel quite humble and sorrowful and a little ashamed. Part of the reason that it's a little ashamed is that I really tried to take pictures of myself, but there was nothing showing on the film but a whole lot of blank. Tell Berthold that a flame thrower, "flammenwerfer" has made its appearance in my billet, to be sent to #3236. Lieut. Watkins, otherwise known as "Charley", the "Bum", etc. has returned from a wild three day leave in Paris, and tomorrow morning my application for a like leave goes on file. You see, the job is finishing itself, and so soon as completed entirely, I shall turn over all of my files to the A.C. of S., 4th Sec., Adv. B.C., GHQ, a terrible man, and smilingly whisper "next?".......... I feel pretty good on the whole, for (it's a deep deep secret!) I did a darned good job and accomplished a mighty big stack of mighty hard work. No kick, mind, for I enjoyed it immensely, and had a free hand in the entire matter. Every German military car in American GHQ area has been collected. Alarge number have been repaired, and a few are yet in process of repair; two fifty ton tractors have been placed in service, as well as a number of steam engines. A great quantity of junk of all sorts has been harvested, Henschel has acquired a number of souvineers and one perfectly good Opel touring car all for himself. Also, every German civil owned car has been registered, except a few stragglers, and licenses and passes been granted to a couple of hundred civilians to drive cars. Day before yesterday, it being a day of rest, I translated 87 German letters and a small book.

jhenschel_0114_0002

Last - but by far the most important item of all - my files and records are complete and perfect. Even Dad himself couldn't find a flaw, because the Adjutant General himself paid me a visit and put his OK daran. And my rating card gave me 74, which is quite high, and a recommend for a boost. (The highest I ever drew before was 60) Therefore, I feel jubilant and stuckup and a lot of other things, and not quite so worthless as I formerly did. Which means that tomorrow something horrible is sure to happen, and my feathers will be all wet and dripping, instead of shiny. This letters is the most egotistical thing I ever hammered. Pardon, please. You did not tell me anything about hurting yourself. What was it, and when, and how? I'm awfully sorry, althoug its rather late to say so. Not able to talk out loud yet, but by the time that you get this I'll be OK once more. I fell fine as silk, except for a slight cough and that my throat is always tired out. It's nothing serious, for I went to the doctor yesterday, and he pronounced me fit for a long, wicked life. Which requires a pretty sound constitution. There is no information as to when we leave for home. Our plans are nothing at all. The big boys around GHQ all figure on closing shop sometime in October, but it may come sooner. No one knows a thing about it, except perhaps President Wilson (who seems to know most everything, according to the papers) and a few mighty ones in Washington. We are all eager for the day when "the General gives that command!" Believe me, it's surely been one awful long time since I've been home, and no one wants to start on a long long journey, travel by boat authorized, more than one JEH, late of [Kansas City]. Every once in a while I get feeling too darned mean for any good use, and then all of my company seem to shy away. Strange. In fact after one particularly hard day, the sergeant who does most of my typewriting suggest that I ought to have a leave! talk about nerve'. Note: Am no longer a theatrical manager. The C. of S. put the final touches on the funeral of the prospective production, to my great delight. Therefore, I have entered another branch of entertainment, and am now manager of four separate baseball teams - and can't catch a a ball myself. Likewise am mess officer, which means nothing at all, for I don't do a thing, except act as a bumper for the kicks when an inspector chooses to visit us and enter the routine kicks. The good Frau Sabel treated me mighty fine when I was out of order. I felt ashamed of myself, for she won't take a thing from me, and did all sorts of little unnecessary things to make me comfortable. She's a mighty nice old lady, even if she is a German. Good night. I'm going home and to bed, early for the first time in a good many day ----- and I'M NOT going to get up before noon! Bushels of love - as always Ned-

jhenschel_0114_0003

Berthold's things have been sent yet. There is no string available here except paper twine, and that is NG. I have sent to France for a ball of twine, so there's still hope in that line. That's all. There's no news, but a lot of love.

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 April 15, 1919
Year Range from 1919
Year Range to 1919
People Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
Subjects World War I
Letters (Home)
Writing
Pictures
Food
Work ethic
Automobile driving
Illness
Homesickness