The Earp Vendetta Ride was a search by Deputy U.S. Marshal Wyatt Earp, leading a federal posse, looking for outlaw Cowboys that they believed had ambushed and maimed Virgil Earp and killed Morgan Earp. The Earp brothers had been attacked in retaliation for the deaths of three Cowboys in the famous “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” on October 26, 1881. From March 20 to April 15, 1882, the federal posse searched southeast Cochise County, Arizona Territory for suspects in both Virgil’s and Morgan’s attacks. Several suspects had been freed by the court, owing in some cases to legal technicalities and in others to the strength of alibis provided by Cowboy confederates. Up to this point, Wyatt had relied on the legal system to bring the Cowboys to justice. Now he felt he had to take matters into his own hands.
They managed to capture Florentino “Indian Charlie” Cruz. He confessed to have taken part in Morgan’s murder, and he identified Stilwell, Hank Swilling, Curly Bill and Johnny Ringo as the others who killed Morgan. Cruz ended up dead from gunshots after the confession.
The Earp posse unexpectedly encountered Curly Bill and several other Cowboys cooking a meal on March 24, 1882, at Iron Springs (present day Mescal Springs) located in the Whetstone Mountains. Wyatt returned Curly Bill’s buckshot gunfire with his own shotgun loaded with buckshot. He shot Curly Bill, almost cutting him in half. Curly Bill fell into the water by the edge of the spring and lay dead.
Curly Bill Brocius, was a gunman, rustler and an outlaw Cowboy in the Cochise County area of the Arizona Territory during the early 1880s. In his journal written in October 1881, George Parsons referred to Brocius as “Arizona’s most famous outlaw”.
One hundred and thirty-six years later, we are going to investigate the scene of the shootout…naked.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Traditional Irish Blessing