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Many a miner, broke and desperate, was grubstaked by this friend to all. Kinsman had countered by running his own ad in the Epitaph, stating that he had no intentions of marrying May Woodman. Big mistake. Woodman was sentenced to five years for killing Kinsman—but she apparently was so hard to deal with in the Yuma Territorial Prison that the acting governor pardoned her after she had served less than one year.

Lester Moore was employed as a Wells, Fargo Co. Hank Dunstan showed up to claim a package one afternoon. He received it, but it was thoroughly mangled. When the smoke cleared, Les Moore lay dead behind his window with four. On December 8, , Dan Dowd, C. It was discovered that John Heath, a Bisbee saloon owner, had masterminded the robbery. The five robbers were sentenced to hang.

However, Heath, who demanded a separate trial, was given life in the Yuma pen. Early on the morning of February 22, , 50 armed men rode up to the Tombstone jail and took the prisoner Heath from Sheriff Ward. The other five were left in jail to let the law take its course.

The five of them have one common epitaph that states they were legally hanged March 8, In a Mexico-Arizona train was held up a short distance out of Nogales. The bandits shot the train crew. Reluctantly, he agreed to hide the two until they could leave the country. Slaughter, Burt Alvord and one other deputy raided the hide-out one morning at daybreak. Consequently, when Guadalupe Robles and Deron ran out of the camp toward him, Slaughter shot them both. His innocent brother, Guadalupe, was planted in Boothill along with Deron. One Boothill headstone and epitaph is a little different.

It is the grave site of a former slave who outlived most of the good, the bad, the ugly and any others who happened along the streets of Tombstone. She not only ruled them but also virtually owned them body and soul. Her word and her decisions were undisputed law, and none disobeyed. She owned an interest in most Chinese businesses in Tombstone, too.

She would lend money to anyone who impressed her as honest and hard-working. She once took a cowboy with a broken leg to the Grand Central Boarding House and paid the bill until he recovered. Her funeral had all the pomp and ceremony of a lavish Chinese extravaganza. Slaughter also died peacefully in bed. He had served four years, , as sheriff of Cochise County.

Mostly, he left them lying where he found them. Just before he died in Douglas, Ariz. Wyatt Earp lived in many places after leaving Arizona Territory in He was cremated, and his wife, Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp, had his ashes buried in a family tomb in a Jewish cemetery at Colma, Calif. Ed Schieffelin, the man who brought Tombstone into existence, was another who did not wish to be buried in Boothill.

Much of it was soon reclaimed by nature. In , the City of Tombstone contacted old-timers who could tell them where their relatives and friends were buried. During the s, Emmet Nunnelley saw the historic value of Boothill and requested that the City Council allow him to restore and preserve it. Ben T. Alice Jane died on September 16, This was a terrible blow to young John Henry for he and his mother were very close.

Shortly after this marriage, the Holliday family moved to Valdosta, Georgia. He served his required two years apprenticeship under Dr. Upon completion of his training and graduation, Dr. Arthur C. Ford in Atlanta in John H. Office: 26 Whitehall Street — Arthur C. Following this advice, Doc packed up and headed West. John A. John soon had to find other means of earning a livelihood. Each man went for his pistol. According to the Dallas Weekly Herald, both shooters were arrested.

Jackson was a tough cow-town situated near an army post. On this occasion, he was careless enough to kill a soldier from Fort Richardson. The killing brought the United States Government into the investigation. Although his victim did not die, public resentment forced Doc to flee again. It was there that Doc met the only woman who was ever to come into his life.

Her ample curves were generous and all in the right places. Tough, stubborn, fearless, and high tempered, she worked at the business of being a Madam and a prostitute because she liked it! Earp rode in from Dodge City on the trail of Dave Rudabaugh, who was wanted for train robbery. While Doc was helping Wyatt gain the information he needed, they became fast friends.

Holliday had already gained the reputation of being a cold-blooded killer. Many believed that he liked to kill, but that was not true. He was simply a hot-tempered Southerner who stood aside for no man. Doc could be described as a fatalist. He knew that he was already condemned to a slow, painful death. If his death was quick and painless, who was he to object! Actually, he expected a quick demise because of the violent life he lived. A bully boy of Fort Griffin sat down in a poker game with Holliday. His name was Ed Bailey and he had grown accustomed to having his way with no one questioning his actions.

In an obvious attempt to irritate Doc, Bailey kept picking up the discards and looking through them. This was strictly against the rules of Western poker, and anyone who broke this rule forfeited the pot. Holliday warned Bailey twice, but the erstwhile bad man ignored his protests. The very next hand Bailey picked up the discards again. Before the local bully could pull the trigger, Doc, with one slash, completely disemboweled him. Spilling blood everywhere, Bailey sprawled across the table. As he felt that he was obviously only protecting himself and in the right, Doc stuck around town and allowed the Marshal to arrest him.

Likely as not, the local lawmen would turn the slim gunman over to the mob. Kate went into action by setting fire to an old shed. It burned so rapidly that the flames threatened to engulf the town. Everyone went to fight the fire with the exception of three people: Kate, Doc, and the Officer who guarded him. As soon as the lawman and his prisoner were left alone, she stepped in and confronted them. A pistol in each hand, she disarmed the startled guard, then passed a pistol to Doc and the two of them vanished into the night. All that night they hid in the brush, carefully avoiding parties of searchers.

Doc felt he owed Kate a great deal for rescuing him from a hang tree in Fort Griffin and was determined to do anything in his power to make her happy.

Tombstone Ten Gauge

Kate gave up being a prostitute and inhabiting the saloons. Doc gave up gambling and hung out his shingle again. Kate stood the quiet and boredom of respectable living as long as she could. Then she told Doc that she was going back to the bright lights and excitement of the dance halls and gambling dens. A number of Texas cowboys had just arrived in Dodge City with a herd of cattle.

Word was brought into the Long Branch that several of the trail drivers had Wyatt Earp cornered and were boasting that they intended to shoot him down. Doc leaped through the door, gun in hand. About twenty of their friends also stood nearby, taunting and insulting the enraged, but helpless, Wyatt. Holliday loosed a volume of profanity and, as the self-styled bad men turned to face Doc, Wyatt rapped Morrison over the head with his long barrel Colt. Then he set about relieving the other cowboys of their guns. Wyatt never forgot the fact that Doc Holliday saved his life that night in Dodge City.

Kate and Doc soon had another of their frequent, violent quarrels and Doc, in a furious mood, saddled his horse and rode out to Trinidad, Colorado. Under such circumstances, Doc did not wish to linger around, and rode on into New Mexico.

A few weeks later, he got into an argument with a local gunman, named Mike Gordon, who, by all evidence, was rather popular with the locals. Not one to mince words, Doc politely invited him to start shooting whenever he felt like it and then shot him three times in the stomach. A mob quickly gathered and began plans for decorating a hang tree, using Doc as an ornament. Wisely, Doc disappeared like smoke. Since he had to move on again, Doc knew the one place he would be safe in was Dodge City. After all, Wyatt Earp was his friend. But when he rode back into town, he discovered that Wyatt had gone to a new silver strike, in a place called Tombstone, Arizona.

Several men had died in encounters with him. Finally, Milt struck Doc on the head with a pistol. Doc was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Doc, at this point, decided that enough was enough and threw her out. The District Attorney labeled the charges as ridiculous and threw them out. She married a blacksmith, named George M. John J. Not true. Ringo was well aware of all this. That shot struck him in the back and snuffed out his life. The date was March 20, A Tucson judge issued warrants for their arrests.

The Earp posse shot him to pieces. The arresting officer was a man named Perry Mallan. Our escape was miraculous. Wyatt Earp turned loose with a shotgun and killed Curly Bill. Holliday would have shot him again, but bystanders disarmed him. The greater part of his years had been lived on borrowed time. Member's only. Currently not signed in. Signed in as:. Sign out. About Us. Photo Gallery. Join Us. A Little History. Members Only. Traywick [ Back to the Top ]. The Resignations Resignation of Virgil W. Very respectfully yours, Virgil W. Earp [ Back to the Top ]. Add to basket.

Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X. Learn about new offers and get more deals by joining our newsletter. Sign up now. Follow us. Votes arrived as late as November 7, and Shibell was unexpectedly reelected.

He immediately appointed Johnny Behan as the new deputy sheriff for eastern Pima County, a job that Wyatt wanted. A controversy ensued when Paul uncovered ballot-stuffing by Cowboys and he sued to overturn the election. Paul finally became sheriff in April , but it was too late to reappoint Wyatt Earp as deputy sheriff because on January 1, , the eastern portion of Pima County containing Tombstone had been split off into the new Cochise County , which would need its own sheriff, based in the county's largest city, Tombstone. Behan utilized his existing position and his superior political connections to successfully lobby for the position.

He also promised Wyatt a position as his undersheriff if he was appointed over Wyatt. Wyatt withdrew from the political contest and the governor and legislature appointed Behan to the job of Cochise County sheriff on February 10, Behan said he broke his promise to appoint Earp because Wyatt Earp used Behan's name to threaten Ike Clanton when Wyatt recovered his stolen horse from Clanton. Tensions between the Earp family and both the Clanton and McLaury clans increased through On July 25, , Captain Joseph H.

Marshal Virgil Earp to help him track Cowboys who had stolen six U. Army mules from Camp Rucker. This was a federal matter because the animals were U. To avoid bloodshed, Cowboy Frank Patterson promised Hurst they would return the mules and Hurst persuaded the posse to withdraw. Hurst went to nearby Charleston , but the Cowboys showed up two days later without the mules, laughing at Hurst and the Earps. In response, Hurst had printed and distributed a handbill in which he named Frank McLaury as specifically assisting with hiding the mules.

He reprinted this in The Tombstone Epitaph on July 30, When Virgil said he had not, McLaury said if Virgil had printed the handbills it was Frank's intention to kill Virgil. He had taken the reins and driver's seat in Contention City because the usual driver, a well-known and popular man named Eli "Budd" Philpot, was ill. Philpot was riding shotgun. Near Drew's Station , just outside Contention City , a man stepped into the road and commanded them to "Hold! Paul, in the driver's seat, fired his shotgun and emptied his revolver at the robbers, wounding a Cowboy later identified as Bill Leonard in the groin.

Philpot, riding shotgun, and passenger Peter Roerig, riding in the rear dickey seat , were both shot and killed. Paul, who normally rode shotgun, later said he thought the first shot killing Philpot had been meant for him. Deputy U. Robbery of a mail-carrying stagecoach was both a federal crime and territorial crime, and the posse consisted of both county and federal authorities and deputies. The posse trailed the robbers to a nearby ranch where they found a drifter named Luther King.

He wouldn't tell who his confederates were until the posse lied and told him that Doc Holliday 's girlfriend had been shot. Fearful of Holliday's reputation, he confessed to holding the reins of the robbers' horses, and identified Bill Leonard, Harry "The Kid" Head and Jim Crane as the robbers. Behan and Williams escorted King back to Tombstone. Somehow King walked in the front door of the jail and a few minutes later out the back. Woods claimed that someone had deliberately unlocked a secured back door to the jail.

They returned to Tombstone on April 1. Virgil was incensed. After he was passed over by Johnny Behan for the position of undersheriff, Wyatt thought he might beat him in the next Cochise County election in late He thought catching the murderers of Bud Philpot and Peter Roerig would help him win the sheriff's office. Ike began to fear that word of his possible cooperation had leaked, threatening to compromise his standing among the Cowboys.

Undercover Wells Fargo Company agent M. Williams suspected a deal, and said something to Ike, who was fearful that other Cowboys might learn of his double-cross. The fallout over the Cowboys' attempt to implicate Holliday and the Earps in the robbery, [27] : along with Behan's involvement in King's escape, was the beginning of increasingly bad feelings between the Earp brothers and Cowboy factions. Wyatt Earp and Cochise County sheriff Johnny Behan were interested in the same sheriff's position and also may have shared an interest in the same woman, Josephine Marcus , known as Sadie.

Citizens of Tombstone believed that Behan and Marcus were married, but Behan was a known womanizer and had sex with prostitutes and other women. In early , Marcus ended the relationship after she came home and found Behan in bed with the wife of a friend [65] and kicked him out, [66] although she used the Behan surname through the end of that summer. She rented her home sometime before April to Dr. George Goodfellow. Wyatt Earp lived with Mattie Blaylock [67] : who was listed as his wife in the census, who had a growing addiction to the easily available opiate laudanum.

There are no contemporary Tombstone records that indicate a relationship between Marcus and Earp, but Earp certainly knew her, because both Behan and Earp had offices above the Crystal Palace Saloon. Sadie, traveling as either Mrs. Earp or Mrs. In July , Wyatt left Colorado and went to San Francisco, [71] where he sought out Sadie and his brother Virgil, who was seeking treatment for his arm.

Tensions between the Earps and the McLaurys further increased when another passenger stage on the 'Sandy Bob Line' in the Tombstone area, bound for Bisbee , was held up on September 8, The masked bandits robbed all of the passengers of their valuables since the stage was not carrying a strongbox. During the robbery, the driver heard one of the robbers describe the money as "sugar", a phrase known to be used by Frank Stilwell. Stilwell had until the prior month been a deputy for Sheriff Behan but had been fired for "accounting irregularities".

Wyatt and Virgil Earp rode with a sheriff's posse and tracked the Bisbee stage robbers. Virgil had been appointed Tombstone's town marshal i. However, Virgil at the same time continued to hold his position of deputy U. At the scene of the holdup, Wyatt discovered an unusual boot print left by someone wearing a custom-repaired boot heel. Frank Stilwell had just arrived in Bisbee with his livery stable partner, Pete Spence , when the two were arrested by Deputy U. Marshal Virgil Earp for the holdup.

Both were friends of Ike Clanton and the McLaurys. At the preliminary hearing, Stilwell and Spence were able to provide several witnesses who supported their alibis.

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Judge Spicer dropped the charges for insufficient evidence just as he had done for Doc Holliday earlier in the year. Released on bail, Spence and Stilwell were re-arrested October 13 by Marshal Virgil Earp for the Bisbee robbery on a new federal charge of interfering with a mail carrier. Ike and other Cowboys believed the new arrest was further evidence that the Earps were illegally persecuting the Cowboys.

Milt Joyce, a county supervisor and owner of the Oriental Saloon, had a contentious relationship with Doc Holliday. Tyler had been hired by a competing gambling establishment to drive customers from Joyce's saloon. Joyce did not like Holliday or the Earps and he continued to argue with Holliday. Joyce ordered Holliday removed from the saloon but would not return Holliday's revolver. But Holliday returned carrying a double-action revolver. Milt brandished a pistol and threatened Holliday, but Holliday shot Joyce in the palm, disarming him, and then shot Joyce's business partner William Parker in the big toe.

Joyce then hit Holliday over the head with his revolver. Holliday and his on-again, off-again mistress Big Nose Kate had many fights. After a particularly nasty, drunken argument, Holliday kicked her out. They plied Big Nose Kate with more booze and suggested to her a way to get even with Holliday. She signed an affidavit implicating Holliday in the attempted stagecoach robbery and murders. Holliday was a good friend of Bill Leonard, a former watchmaker from New York , one of three men implicated in the robbery.

The Earps found witnesses who could attest to Holliday's location at the time of the murders and Kate sobered up, revealing that Behan and Joyce had influenced her to sign a document she didn't understand. With the Cowboy plot revealed, Spicer freed Holliday. The district attorney threw out the charges, labeling them "ridiculous. Wyatt Earp testified after the gunfight that five or six weeks prior he had met Ike Clanton outside the Alhambra Hotel.

Ike told Wyatt that Doc Holliday had told him he knew of Ike's meetings with Wyatt and about Ike providing information on Head, Leonard, and Crane, as well as their attempted robbery of the stage. Ike now accused Earp of telling Holliday about these conversations. Earp testified that he told Ike he had not told Holliday anything. Wyatt Earp offered to prove this when Holliday and the Clantons next returned to town.

A month later, the weekend before the shootout, Morgan Earp was concerned about possible trouble with the Cowboys. He asked Doc Holliday to come back to Tombstone from a fiesta celebration in Tucson where Holliday had been gambling. Upon his return, Wyatt Earp asked Holliday about Ike's accusation. They were in town to sell a large number of beef stock , most of them owned by the McLaurys. Dodge, who had been sick, got up and went looking for city marshal Virgil Earp. Near midnight, Holliday saw Clanton in the Alhambra Saloon and confronted Ike, accusing him of lying about their previous conversations.

They got into a heated argument. Wyatt Earp who was not wearing a badge encouraged his brother Morgan to intervene. Morgan took Holliday out onto the street and Ike, who had been drinking steadily, followed them. City Marshal Virgil Earp arrived a few minutes later and threatened to arrest both Holliday and Clanton if they did not stop arguing. Wyatt Earp walked over to the Oriental Saloon and Ike followed him. They talked again, and Ike threatened to confront Holliday in the morning.

Ike told Earp that the fighting talk had been going on for a long time and that he intended to put an end to it. Ike told Earp, "I will be ready for you in the morning. At about dawn on October 26, the card game broke up and Behan and Virgil Earp went home to bed. Ike Clanton testified later he saw Virgil take his six-shooter out of his lap and stick it in his pants when the game ended.

Shortly after am barkeeper E. Boyle spoke to Ike Clanton in front of the telegraph office. Clanton had been drinking all night and Boyle encouraged him to get some sleep, but Ike insisted he would not go to bed. Boyle later testified he noticed Ike was armed and covered his gun for him. Boyle later said that Ike told him, "'As soon as the Earps and Doc Holliday showed themselves on the street, the ball would open—that they would have to fight' I went down to Wyatt Earp's house and told him that Ike Clanton had threatened that when him and his brothers and Doc Holliday showed themselves on the street that the ball would open.

He woke Virgil, who listened, and went back to sleep. Ike's ongoing threats were not worth losing sleep. Later in the morning, Ike picked up his rifle and revolver from the West End Corral, where he had deposited his weapons and stabled his wagon and team after entering town.

By noon that day, Ike was still drinking and once again armed, in violation of the city ordinance against carrying firearms in the city. He told anyone who would listen he was looking for Holliday or an Earp. At Fly's boarding house where Holliday and his common-law wife Mary Katharine Horony were sleeping, proprietor Mary Fly heard Clanton's threats and banged on Holliday's door. Fly told Horony, "Ike Clanton was here looking for [Holliday], and he had a rifle with him.

Wallace for violating the ordinance. Wyatt waited with Clanton while Virgil went to find Justice Wallace so a court hearing could be held. While Wyatt waited for Virgil to return with Justice Wallace, witnesses overheard Wyatt tell Clanton, "You cattle thieving son-of-a-bitch, and you know that I know you are a cattle thieving son-of-a-bitch, you've threatened my life enough, and you've got to fight!

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Ike reported in his testimony afterward that Wyatt Earp cursed him. He said Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan offered him his rifle and to fight him right there in the courthouse, which Ike declined. Ike also denied ever threatening the Earps. Ike paid the fine and Virgil told Ike he could pick up his confiscated rifle and revolver at the Grand Hotel, which was favored by Cowboys when in town. Ike testified that he picked up the weapons from William Soule, the jailer, a couple of days later.

Outside the court house where Ike was being fined, Tombstone Deputy Marshal Wyatt almost walked into 28 year-old Tom McLaury as the two men were brought up short nose-to-nose. Tom, who had arrived in town the day before, was required by the well-known city ordinance to deposit his pistol when he first arrived in town. When Wyatt demanded, "Are you heeled or not?

Wyatt testified that he saw a revolver in plain sight on the right hip of Tom's pants. Witnesses reported that Wyatt drew his revolver from his coat pocket and pistol whipped Tom McLaury with it twice, leaving him prostrate and bleeding on the street. Saloon-keeper Andrew Mehan testified at the Spicer hearing afterward that he saw McLaury deposit a revolver at the Capital Saloon sometime between — pm, after the confrontation with Wyatt, which Mehan also witnessed. Wyatt said in his deposition afterward that he had been temporarily acting as city marshal for Virgil the week before while Virgil was in Tucson for the Pete Spence and Frank Stilwell trial.

Wyatt said that he still considered himself a deputy city marshal, which Virgil later confirmed. Since Wyatt was an off-duty officer, he could not legally search or arrest Tom for carrying a revolver within the city limits-—a misdemeanor offense. Only Virgil or one of his city police deputies, including Morgan Earp and possibly Warren Earp , could search him and take any required action.

Wyatt, who was portrayed as a non-drinker, testified at the Spicer hearing that he went to Haffords and bought a cigar and went outside to watch the Cowboys. At the time of the gunfight about two hours later, Wyatt could not know if Tom was still armed. It was early afternoon by the time Ike and Tom had seen doctors for their head wounds. The day was chilly, with snow still on the ground in some places. Both Tom and Ike had spent the night gambling, drinking heavily, and without sleep.

Now they were both out-of-doors, both wounded from head beatings, and at least Ike was still drunk. At around — pm, after Tom had been pistol-whipped by Wyatt, Ike's year-old younger brother Billy Clanton and Tom's older brother Frank McLaury arrived in town. They had heard from their neighbor, Ed "Old Man" Frink, that Ike had been stirring up trouble in town overnight, and they had ridden into town on horseback to back up their brothers. Both Frank and Billy were armed with a revolver and a rifle, as was the custom for riders in the country outside Tombstone. Apache warriors had engaged the U.

Army near Tombstone just three weeks before the O. Corral gunfight, so the need for weapons outside of town was well established and accepted. They learned immediately after of their brothers' beatings by the Earps within the previous two hours. The incidents had generated a lot of talk in town. Angrily, Frank said he would not drink, and he and Billy left the saloon immediately to seek Tom. By law, both Frank and Billy should have left their firearms at the Grand Hotel. Instead, they remained fully armed. Wyatt said that he saw Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury in Spangenberger's gun and hardware store on 4th Street filling their gun belts with cartridges.

When Virgil Earp learned that Wyatt was talking to the Cowboys at Spangenberg's gun shop, he went there himself. It was an unusually cold and windy day in Tombstone, and Virgil was wearing a long overcoat. To avoid alarming Tombstone's public, Virgil hid the shotgun under his overcoat when he returned to Hafford's Saloon. From Spangenberg's, the Cowboys moved to the O. Corral where witnesses overheard them threatening to kill the Earps.

For unknown reasons the Cowboys then walked out the back of the O. Corral and then west, stopping in a narrow, empty lot next to C. Fly's boarding house. Virgil initially avoided a confrontation with the newly arrived Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton, who had not yet deposited their weapons at a hotel or stable as the law required. The statute was not specific about how far a recently arrived visitor might "with good faith, and within reasonable time" travel into town while carrying a firearm. This permitted a traveler to keep his firearms if he was proceeding directly to a livery, hotel or saloon.

The three main Tombstone corrals were all west of 4th street between Allen and Fremont, a block or two from where Wyatt saw the Cowboys buying cartridges. Miner Ruben F. Coleman later told The Tombstone Epitaph : [88] [89] [90]. I was in the O. Corral at p. I went up the street and notified Sheriff Behan and told them it was my opinion that they meant trouble, and it was his duty, as sheriff, to go and disarm them.

I told him they had gone to the West End Corral. I then went and saw Marshal Virgil Earp and notified him to the same effect. That's where he first learned that the Cowboys were armed. Behan stated he quickly finished his shave and went to locate the Cowboys. Fly's photography studio, he walked there with Frank. He told the Cowboys that they must give up their arms. Ike Clanton said he was not armed, and Tom McLaury pulled his coat open to show he was not carrying a weapon.

The Cowboys were located in a narrow 15—20 feet 4. Behan later said he attempted to persuade Frank McLaury to give up his weapons, but Frank insisted that he would give up his guns only after City Marshal Virgil Earp and his brothers were first disarmed. Virgil Earp later testified that he thought Ike and Tom were stabled at the O.

Corral on Allen between 3rd and 4th, from which he thought they would be departing if they were leaving town. While Ike Clanton later said he was planning to leave town, Frank McLaury reported that he had decided to remain behind to take care of some business. Will McLaury, Tom and Frank's brother and a judge in Fort Worth, Texas , claimed in a letter he wrote during the preliminary hearing after the shootout that Tom and Frank were still armed because they were planning to conduct business before leaving town to visit him in Texas.

Will McLaury came to Tombstone after the gun fight and joined the prosecution team in an attempt to convict the Earps and Holliday for his brothers' murder. Citizens reported to Virgil on the Cowboys' movements and their threats told him that Ike and Tom had left their livery stable and entered town while armed, in violation of the city ordinance. Virgil decided he had to disarm the Cowboys. Several members of the citizen's vigilance committee offered to support him with arms, but Virgil refused. Virgil Earp picked up the shotgun he had retrieved from the Wells Fargo office earlier.

He took Holliday's walking-stick in return. As usual, the Earps carried their revolvers in their coat pockets or in their waistbands. Wyatt Earp was carrying a. The Earps and Holliday walked west, down the south side of Fremont Street past the rear entrance to the O. Corral, but out of visual range of the Cowboys' last reported location. He had left the Cowboys and came toward them, though he looked nervously backward several times. Virgil testified afterward that Behan told them, "For God's sake, don't go down there or they will murder you!

Fallehy, wrote in his testimony afterward that Virgil Earp told Behan, "those men have made their threats and I will not arrest them but I will kill them on sight. When Behan said he had disarmed them, Virgil attempted to avoid a fight. Wyatt testified he saw "Frank McLaury, Tom McLaury, and Billy Clanton standing in a row against the east side of the building on the opposite side of the vacant space west of Fly's photograph gallery. Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne and a man I don't know [Wes Fuller] were standing in the vacant space about halfway between the photograph gallery and the next building west.

Martha J. King was in Bauer's butcher shop located on Fremont Street. In testimony given by witnesses afterward, they disagreed about the precise location of the men before, during and after the gunfight. Opposite them and initially only about 6 to 10 feet 1. Behind him a few feet near the corner of C.

Fly 's boarding house was Wyatt. Wyatt Earp drew a sketch in and another with John Flood on September 15, that depicted Billy Clanton near the middle of the lot, close to the Harwood house. Tom and Frank McLaury stood deeper in the lot. Frank was in the center between the two buildings, holding the reins of his horse. Tom was closer to C. According to Wyatt's sketches, Morgan was on the right of the lawmen, close to the Harwood house, opposite Billy Clanton near the Harwood house and close to Fremont St.

Virgil was deeper in the lot, opposite Frank and Ike Clanton. Wyatt was to Virgil's left, opposite Tom. Doc Holliday hung back a step or two on Fremont Street.


Virgil Earp was not expecting a fight. Once Behan said that he'd disarmed the Cowboys, Virgil traded the short, double-barreled shotgun he was carrying for Holliday's cane. Virgil carried the cane in his right hand and shifted the pistol in his waistband from the right side to his left. Wyatt too was not expecting a fight and put his pistol in his overcoat pocket.

Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury wore revolvers in holsters on their belts and stood alongside their saddled horses with rifles in their scabbards , possibly in violation of the city ordinance prohibiting carrying weapons in town. When Virgil saw the Cowboys, he testified, he immediately commanded the Cowboys to "Throw up your hands, I want your guns!

I don't mean that! Jeff Morey, who served as the historical consultant on the film Tombstone , compared testimony by partisan and neutral witnesses and came to the conclusion that the Earps described the situation accurately. Who started shooting first is not certain; accounts by both participants and eyewitnesses are contradictory. The six or seven men with guns fired about 30 shots in around 30 seconds. Virgil Earp reported afterward, "Two shots went off right together. Billy Clanton's was one of them. Clanton missed, but Earp shot Frank McLaury in the stomach.

All witnesses generally agreed that the first two shots were almost indistinguishable from each other. General firing immediately broke out. Virgil and Wyatt thought Tom was armed. When the shooting started, the horse that Tom McLaury held jumped to one side. Wyatt said he also saw Tom throw his hand to his right hip. Virgil said Tom followed the horse's movement, hiding behind it, and fired once or twice over the horse's back.

According to one witness, Holliday drew a "large bronze pistol" interpreted by some as Virgil's coach gun from under his long coat, stepped around Tom McLaury's horse, [] and shot him with the double-barreled shotgun in the chest at close range. Witness C. Light testified that Tom fell at the foot of a telegraph pole on the corner of Fremont and 3rd Street and lay there, without moving, through the duration of the fight. Ike Clanton had been publicly threatening to kill the Earps for several months, including very loud threats on the day before.

But when the gunfight broke out, Clanton ran forward and grabbed Wyatt, exclaiming that he was unarmed and did not want a fight. To this protest Wyatt said he responded, "Go to fighting or get away! Other accounts say that Ike drew a hidden pistol and fired at the Earps before disappearing. He and Cowboy Wes Fuller, who had been at the rear of the lot, also ran from the fight as soon as the shooting began. According to The Tombstone Epitaph , "Wyatt Earp stood up and fired in rapid succession, as cool as a cucumber, and was not hit.

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Morgan's shot hit Billy in the right wrist, disabling his hand. Forced to shift the revolver to his left hand, Clanton continued shooting until he emptied the gun. Morgan Earp tripped and fell over a newly buried waterline and fired from the ground. He tried and failed to grab his rifle from the scabbard but lost control of the horse. Frank crossed Fremont Street firing his revolver instead. Frank and Holliday exchanged shots as Frank moved across Fremont Street, and Frank hit Holliday in his pistol pocket, grazing him. Holliday followed him, exclaiming, "That son of a bitch has shot me and I am going to kill him.

A number of witnesses observed a man leading a horse into the street and firing near it and Wyatt in his testimony thought this was Tom McLaury. Claiborne said only one man had a horse in the fight, and that this man was Frank, holding his own horse by the reins, then losing it and its cover, in the middle of the street. One of them, perhaps Billy, shot Morgan Earp across the back in a wound that struck both shoulder blades and a vertebra.

Morgan went down for a minute before picking himself up. Virgil, though hit, fired his next shot at Billy Clanton. Frank, now entirely across Fremont street and still walking at a good pace according to Claiborne's testimony, fired twice more before he was shot in the head under his right ear. Both Morgan and Holliday apparently thought they had fired the shot that killed Frank, but since neither of them testified at the hearing, this information is only from second-hand accounts. A passerby testified to having stopped to help Frank, and saw Frank try to speak, but he died where he fell, before he could be moved.

Billy Clanton was shot in the wrist, chest and abdomen, and after a minute or two slumped to a sitting position near his original position at the corner of the MacDonald house in the lot between the house and Fly's Lodging House. Claiborne said Clanton was supported by a window initially after he was shot, and fired some shots after sitting, with the pistol supported on his leg.

After he ran out of ammunition, he called for more cartridges, but C.

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Fly took his pistol at about the time the general shooting ended. A few moments later, Tom McLaury was carried from the corner of Fremont and Third into the Harwood house on that corner, where he died without speaking. Billy was in considerable pain and asked for a doctor and some morphine. He told those near him, "They have murdered me. I have been murdered. Chase the crowd away and from the door and give me air.

Both Wyatt and Virgil believed Tom McLaury was armed and testified that he had fired at least one shot over the back of a horse. During the gunfight, Doc Holliday was bruised by a bullet fired by Frank that struck his holster and grazed his hip. Virgil Earp was shot through the calf, he thought by Billy Clanton. Morgan Earp was struck across both shoulder blades by a bullet that Morgan thought Frank McLaury had fired.

Wyatt Earp was unhurt. As the wounded lawmen were carried to their homes, they passed in front of the Sheriff's Office, and Johnny Behan told Wyatt Earp, "I'll have to arrest you. I am right here and am not going away. You have deceived me.