The most famous gunfight in the Wild West.

On one side of the battle were: Virgil Earp, the marshal in Tombstone, Arizona; Wyatt Earp, the assistant marshal; Morgan Earp, a part-time policeman; and John "Doc" Holliday, a friend of Wyatt's, a bad-tempered dentist and gambler. On the other side were: Ike and Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLaury, a group of cowboys from local ranches who occasionally rode into town to raise hell and sell their rustled cattle. In fact, Billy once rode around Tombstone on Wyatt's stolen horse.

On the morning of October 26, 1881, the Earp faction argued with the cowboys and pistol-whipped two of them. Around 2 p.m., the local sheriff, fearing violence, stopped the Clantons and McLaurys on Fremont Street near the O.K. Corral. The Earps and Holliday appeared, approaching the group at a slow walk. The sheriff hurried up the street to stop them, but they brushed past him, stopping about six feet away from the cowboys.

The Earps and Holliday each carried a pistol, and Holliday was concealing a double-barreled shotgun under his coat. Billy and Frank had revolvers, while Ike and Tom were unarmed. Frank was holding the reins of his horse, with a Winchester rifle in the saddle scabbard.

At that point, Virgil Earp shouted, "Boys, throw up your hands. I want your guns." Three of the cowboys raised their arms, and Tom opened his coat to show that he had no weapons, saying, "I haven't got anything, boys. I am disarmed." Billy added, "Don't shoot me. I don't want to fight."

Doc then walked up to Frank and stuck his pistol in Frank's stomach. Morgan shot at Billy, hitting him in the right wrist, and Doc shot Frank in the stomach. Frank, holding his stomach wound, staggered into the street, leading his horse.

Wyatt shoved his pistol into Ike Clanton's stomach and said, "Throw up your hands, you son of a bitch!" Ike grabbed Wyatt's pistol with his left hand and Wyatt's shoulder with his right. They grappled with each other for a moment before Wyatt shouted, "Go to fighting or get away!" Wyatt fired his pistol without hitting anyone, and Ike ran away.

Holliday pocketed his pistol and pulled out his shotgun. Tom had been hiding behind Frank's horse, but after it bolted, Holliday emptied both barrels into Tom's chest, killing him.

Billy, still in the fight even with bullet wounds in his chest and wrist, shot off-handed, hitting Virgil in the thigh and knocking him to the ground.

Despite his belly wound, Frank was also still going. He shot at Holliday once and missed, prompting Doc to drop the shotgun and pull out his pistol. Frank shouted, "I've got you now!" and Holliday replied, "You're a good one of you have!" Doc and Frank shot at each other--Holliday missed, but Frank scored a flesh wound on Doc's hip. As Holliday yelled, "I'm shot right through!", Morgan shot Frank in the neck and exclaimed, "I got him!"

As Frank fell to the ground, near death, Billy shot Morgan in the shoulder. Morgan fell, but bounced back up. He and Wyatt shot at Billy, who took a shot to the stomach and slumped over, dying. He demanded more cartridges and tried to cock his gun again, but a bystander took it away from him.

By the end of the day, Frank, Tom, and Billy were dead, Virgil, Morgan, and Doc were injured, but recovered, and Ike and Wyatt had escaped unscathed.

That December, an unknown gunman shot Morgan in the arm as he walked down the street one night. In March 1882, a Clanton supporter shot Morgan in the back as he chalked his cue at a pool hall in Tombstone. Morgan told Wyatt, "This is the last game of pool I'll ever play," before he died.

(The above account was taken from "GURPS Old West" by Ann Dupuis, Liz Tornabene, Lynda Manning-Schwartz, and Rob Smith, published by Steve Jackson Games in 1991, pp. 105-108. What source their account came from, they do not say, though I've found some very similar versions all over the 'net. The main points of difference in the varying accounts appear to be over what the participants said and who actually started the fight.)

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