Full transcription of text follows:
Private J.E. Henschel. American Mission. Motor Transport A.E.F. Reserve Mallet. France. January 13/1918- Dearest Mother- A few days ago a whole sheaf of letters from home was delivered to me - dated all the way from some time in October to December 3rd. The day following brought Dad's letter of December 10th (I believe) and the box of good things from all of you. The box arrived in first-class shape and all of the "eats" perfectly fresh and in just as god condition as when packed. I can't thank you all enough. The dates were delicious - as a good many of us can testify when thanking Elizabeth. The handkerchiefs
were beautifully done. Tell Mary that I almost hate to use them. Someone must thank the "Rienie Bunch" for me en toute - and not forget Mrs. White. It was most kind of them to think of me. One of Mother's letters sounded as though perhaps one of my letters had carried an unintended "bid for sympathy". If so, believe me, it was not intended by any means. Of course I know just about how you and Dad must feel about things in general - so we will not speak of this further - save just this; that I intend to stink in this service there being no very great choice), put in whatever "good licks" I can and if there is anything better
coming - why it will come, and I will have the satisfaction of knowing that I had earned it. Please don't believe me unappreciative or unambitious - but you can not imagine how distasteful "something better" - say a commission - would be to me - if I did not believe that I not only was capable - but had earned it as well. I don't know how other fellows would feel about it - about the same, I imagine - When I failed to make the training camp in the States. I don't think that I could have thought or cared a great deal; one way or the other - but after having seen the game a little - even as little as we have - why a fellow's attitude changes a bit. At any rate - things along that
line are more or less out of hands; if there is anything coming to me, for better or worse - it will no doubt come along. SO much for that. You understand. I know. Today I applied for $10,000.00 life insurance, payable to you - your full name - Mary Doughty Henschel - of course - there is small probability of it being paid soon - but the rates are most reasonable and the insurance may be kept up after the war. If the rates are the same (about $8.00 a $1000) after the war - it would seem to be an excellent investment. If not - but there is no need of discussing all this here; it's a bit morbid. It's up to me to make the same remark that you did some time past. Your
letters say little about receiving mail from me. As I hear that letters failing to pass the censor are destroyed and not returned - it is impossible for me to know what letters are delivered to you. Since the limit was raised, I have written you at least once a week - more often twice a week - and will continue to do so. Our barracks now resemble a poultry show, more or less, since new two story begs have been installed. They are made of light wood, unpainted, and look something like this [drawing of beds] (To the Censor; this is intended for a bed, and not for a map of diagram of military importance. Please!) The light lines indicate long, thin slats - which have a horrible practice of breaking at unpsychological moments. Four of us sleep
to a bed. Coburn and I in an "upper" together. You should see the barracks at first - and in the morning - the wild scramble for clothes and lights! It is indescribable, but has its humorous points - even though they be hard to find so early in the day. My cold still holds on; I am coming to the conclusion that I shall never be able to talk aloud again - or at least until summer comes. The weather is detestable - runs in a circle. For a few days it snows - then for a few days it is bitter cold - followed by rain and mud. After which - snow. Still we have no complaints for I see that the middlewest is afflicted with blizzards - which are not pleasant.
I am hoping that Berthold has recovered completely from the broken arm. Poor old "Butch"! He had quite a sieze of it. Also I trust that you and Dad and the others of the family are in good health. Our work remains about the same as it has always been - allowing of course for the differences between July and January. There is nothing that I can write by ways of news. Coburn asks to be remembered to all of the family - say to tell E - how good the slates were. With love- 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||January 13, 1918|
|Year Range from||1918|
|Year Range to||1918|
Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
World War I