Full transcription of text follows:
Lt. J.E. Henschel, Motor Section, Advance PC, GHQ, A.P.O. 930, A.E.F. February 22nd, 1919. Dearest of Mothers: Two wonderful days, today and yesterday! Just like the first spring days at home; you know the kind, that make one feel too good to be true. Certainly were fine, and I did a lot of pretty good work on top of the weather; therefore I feel happy and at peace with all the world - nearly all. It being Washington's birthday, it was a holiday, but of course, holidays are nothing in our young life. Trucks have to carry food, and every Colonel and a few 2nd loots went to take a ride in passenger cars. Ergo, we sort of look sideways and shy wildly when we hear the word, in the MTC. Honest, I'm feeling so good that I can't think of much else to write. You should see a few of the things that I have taken over this past week. There is everything on the list from young three passenger used-to-run-abouts to fifty-ton tractors. The place where I am putting these cars is by this time getting pretty well filled up, but there are a lot more that have to go into the park. I am sending a few snapshots with this letter showing a few of the trucks. Taken from my own private aerplane, of course, or the roof of a five story building. The snow covered ground of last week is today a beautiful sea of mud, some inches deep; there is something about militarizing a bit of property that seems to bring mud in great gobs. I am having a couple of these enormous tractors fixed up so that if ever it be necessary or desirable to move any of the trucks it can be done. Incidentally, the trick little car that I am having fixed up for my own use is about ready for action; needs only a magneto and tires now, and we will be off to a flying start. One reason that I feel particularly happy and well pleased tonight is because I undertook and got away with (apologies for undue slang) a job that everyone else in the office has fought shy of for two weeks. It is'nt my end of the game but none of the rest had any desire to tackle it, so (cheers!) in steps Neddy and fills the w.k. breach. There was quite a bit o of old wornout junk - poor trucks that had been used and abused, first as trucks, then as spare parts rooms - and then in their old age kicked onto a railroad platform and deserted. My job was to get the things someway or other into the flatcars. It would have been a lot simpler if only there were wheels on the beasts, or if there had been a crane nearer than six hundred yards away. Anyway, my valient trio of conficators put all of the ancient five tonners on board in two hours - and that is the end of the story. And since then I have been walking around all stuck up - and took mon liutenant Watkins to the hospital in a Cadillac - and took two trucks and a tractor away from a mournful Dutchman. Watkins, with whom I came here, and with whom I have been billeting is sick with Vincent's Angina, or diptheria. The doctors are not al all certain [ms illegible: 1 wd], but any way he has a horrible looking throat. I painted it with argerol (?) for three days before he left.
the old German lady took care of him like a mother would have done. She was fine about it all along. I have been Amicanisherpropandaing her so that now she can see that the Americans are all right, and admits that perhaps some of the others of the allies might have a word or two to their credit. Yet none the less, she hochs the Kaiser, and says that it was all right to poison a well or two, because the all highest says it is. Darn. Can you beat it? Also, although she tells me hwo sad it was that Clemenceau was shot (because it will be so sad for Germany) she can not understand how it is that the French women passed the resolution pleading for the German women and kiddies. You see, they have been taught not only to hate, but also to be hated - the Germans are nothing if not thorough - and it is beyond them when they are treated kindly. A captain from the QM office in this building was sent to Berlin alst week and came back yesterday with quite a lot of information for the mess to chew over. The most interesting things that he had to tell - to me at least were these; the fact that in the street warfare the Berliners had treated their own city the same way they did France. Used has and heavy guns on the town. Also, the shops are all open and usually crowded, and one certainly can buy anything he wishes. The prices, with the exceptions of food and clothing, are less than in France; the rich can buy anything they wish, but the poor and the middle class must s suffer from the lack of cheap foods. Also, old wooden Hindy is still standing, all forty feet of him filled with nails. Am enclosing a postcard photo of the statue. This letter is most disjointed. Don't expect me home this next week. Am most completely well, tres happy, and working fairly hard. Your son, J.E. Henschel- [ms illegible: 1 wd] lieutenant. I have censored 200 letters tonight. The first one I signed carefully - like this: J.E. Henschel 2nd Lt. M.T.C. the 200th - like this- J.E. Henschel 2nd Lt. M.T.C. (Am now also athletic officer for this office. Don't know just what that is, for we have only about 200 soldiers, and no athletes)
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||February 22, 1919|
|Year Range from||1919|
|Year Range to||1919|
Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
World War I