The Gunfight At The OK Corral

The Infamous gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone Arizona has been made immortal many times over by Hollywood with my personal favorite being Tombstone with Val Kilmer and Kurt Russell. The actual fight took place due to a boiling feud between the Earp Brothers, Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan and their long-time friend Doc Holliday versus the town ruffians , Cowboys Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury and Billy Claiborne. Virgil Earp was the town marshal and Morgan was the assistant town marshal, Wyatt is the most well-known brother but he and Doc Holiday were just temporary deputies during the famous shootout.

The Ok Corral after a fire in 1882
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The Shootout didn’t actually take place at the OK Corral itself. It was roughly 6 doors down at a photography studio that was closest to the rear entrance of the corral. The fight only lasted about 30 seconds but there were times that shooters were not more than 6 away from each other so it was a very close quarters battle. Both McLaury brothers and Billy Clanton were killed immediately but Billy Claiborne and Ike Clanton got away. Ike is the one that has the famous line “I’m unarmed don’t shoot”, even though he had threatened to kill the Earp brothers many times, and it’s been reported that Wyatt responded to him ” Get to Fighting or Get Away!”.Virgil and Morgan both got shot, one in the calf and other in the shoulder and Doc Holliday had a shot hit his holster and grazing his hip but Wyatt made it through unharmed.

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The conflict between the Lawmen Earp Brothers and The Cowboys didn’t end there, less than 6 months after the gunfight Morgan Earp was shot and killed in a saloon. It was said that the shooters were Cowboys shooting from a dark alley through the glass windows of the saloon. After losing his younger brother Morgan, Wyatt went off the rails and made it his personal vendetta to track down anyone affiliated with the Cowboys that had killed his brother. Earp ended up getting a warrant for his arrest due to the shooting of Frank Sitwell.

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