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


Private J.E. Henschel American Mission Motor Transport A.E.F. Reserve Mallet France- January 21/1918- Dearest Mother- Am a day early with my weekly letter home - three days, really - but don't suppose that you folks will object seriously. Somehow or other when there is practically nothing of which to write, I find myself overwhelmed with time in which to do it. There is no change in my work to tell you - the weather is still winter (as could be expected for a couple more months) and the war still goes on. That not only is all that can be written, but nearly all that I know to tell you. Gee whiz - gosh - (and a lot of others) - A certain horrible letter of mine seems to have


raised a lot of dust. You see - Dad's letter came yesterday. Have written you (this to Father) something like a week ago a letter that might have been an answer to yours. I'll not repeat the story again. Temporarily, I seem to be on the "indisposible" list - as we say when a car is wrecked or burned up or needs repair before being in shape to "roll" again - very clumsily and awkwardly I permitted one of the camions to run over my feet, thereby rendering them unserviceable as instruments of locomotion, and at the same time acquiring for myself one utterly undesirable (?) few days of repos - Of course - a thing of beauty is still the same perpetual joy - but as an object for admiration or entertainment my nether-est extremities would always make a fine junk-pile. Hence week-ending in a hospital merely because of a sore toe has


points other than merely the unique. Of all the available means of becoming "blaise" - even slightly as it is - to choose a camion! There is something worse than simply absurd or rediculous about it. Even the exray laughed hard and lustily and with supreme contempt reported "no bones broken". So now I am laid up under treatments that themselves sound ludicrous when first mentioned - to wiggle my toes five minutes every hour. Just imagine me all dolled-up in gray-flannel pajamas - a red cross on the pocket - that would hold three people, instructed to stay in bed - and wiggle my toes! It's immense. Yet I am enjoying myself immensly and will not be here long enough for time to drag too monotonously, so you must not waste better devoted sympathy. A Mrs. Andrews, with the Y.M.C.A. comes to see the "inmates" almost every morning, bringing with her visit much


good cheer and very delightful cakes and chocolate and oranges. Also the other morning-some honest-to-goodness maple-sugar. My appetite and digestion and sense of taste being in no way connected with my feet - such things are more welcome. (Yet - being only an imitation invalid - it is almost pure camouflaging for me to accept these favors). Spent the better part of the afternoon readily aloud - most emphatically loud - to the "Goofer" - young Seymour from St. Paul, who is in the next room with the measles. Poor Mac - hardly had he recovered from a broken arm than he acquired this. Although he and two others are isolated in a dark room, we hold quite spirited


conversation - despite the intervening wall - We inquire as to one another's respective comfort, argue the plausibility of the latest crop of rumors, bet on the next meal and drain hours on end probability of getting back to duty in a day or two. Occasionally we discuss the war - which usually ends a pleasant conversation. So you see - I'm playing in luck. No reveille or roll-calls - no fatigues - nothing to do in fact but eat and sleep and read and smoke - and wiggle my toes. A most delightful way to be ill. It's later than I imagined. This is short and all rubbish I know - but there will be time to write a-


gain, and more rubbish, soon - My love goes with my letters always to you and Dad. Ned. [illustrations] Hey Mac, can you eat an orange. (Me) (Rapidly rotating digits) (A dozen of 'em to the disgust of the hospital orderly) No, damn it all! disgusted but emphatic voice of the Goofer seeping through. A too thick wall gloom gloom and measles

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 21, 1918
Year Range from 1918
Year Range to 1918
People Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
Subjects World War I
Letters (Home)
Automobile driving
Wounds & injuries