David Chapin, private in the 42nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, Company I, is not a descendant of Aaron Stark. So why would we be interested in the life of a young man not related to our family? To me, David Chapin represents all of the young men of the Civil War who didn't return home, dying far from their loved ones and placed in long forgotten graves. He didn't die bravely in battle but succumbed to disease which claimed more lives in the Civil War than were lost in the heat of battle. He was buried in the William Hawley Stark Cemetery along the path of march like so many others in that war and briefly mourned by his comrades-in-arms who then had to continue their own march into an uncertain future. David is representative of William's son, Samuel Hawley Stark of the 13th Texas Confederate Cavalry Regiment, who died of disease one month after David in a Little Rock, Arkansas Hospital and was buried in a long forgotten and unmarked grave along with 600 other men at Camp Nelson. Disease didn't care if your cause was just or if you were Union or Confederate, for it treated all persons, regardless of their position in society, equally. Isn't it ironic that disease didn't discriminate in a Civil War that was about all persons being treated equally, which truly reveals we are really all the same accept for our prejudice, which is an illness of the mind. Let David's story be a reminder of the tragedy of a war that pitted brother against brother, father against son, Family against Family. May we resolve to eradicate prejudice, which is the root cause of all wars.
December 18, 2002