Virgil Walter Earp (July 18, 1843 – October 19, 1905) was the older brother of Wyatt Earp, and participated in the storied October 26, 1881 "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" in the town of Tombstone, Arizona Territory. In December 1881, a gunshot wound from an unknown assailant cost him the use of his left arm.
Virgil Earp in Southern Victory
Virgil Earp had been just 18 years old when he enlisted in the Union Army when the War of Secession began in 1861. After the war ended, Virgil left the army and tried his hand at civilian life. In the late 1870s, he headed west to the New Mexico Territory. Although Virgil tried to convince his brother Wyatt to come with him, he ultimately failed.
When the Second Mexican War began in 1881, Virgil Earp rejoined the army, receiving the rank of brevet colonel and was placed in command of a volunteer cavalry regiment, in the New Mexico Territory. His participation in the war was short-lived, as he convinced his commanding officer, Colonel Peter Hains, to follow him and his regiment into a Confederate-Apache trap. In the ensuing battle, the combined militia and cavalry force was destroyed. Earp's horse was killed and landed on him, pinning his leg and possibly crippling him for life. After the battle was over, Confederate commander Jeb Stuart personally interrogated Earp. Although beaten and humiliated, Earp had the last laugh when he reminded Stuart that the Apaches were the CSA's problem now.
- How Few Remain, pg. 284-285.