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james earp civil warThe oldest of the Earp brothers was born in Kentucky, in 1841, before the family moved to Monmouth, Illinois. In 1861 he enlisted in the 17th Illinois Infantry, and soon found himself in Missouri.

He was shot through the right shoulder at the October 21, 1861 Battle of Fredericktown, losing much of the use of his arm. Earp was discharged from the army, and was disabled by his wound for the rest of his life. James was a gambler, and saloon owner, in Tombstone when his brothers made their mark on history. One can only presume that he was not at the OK Corral because of the wound he received in Fredericktown. James died in Los Angeles in 1926, and is buried in the family plot in San Bernardino.