The Forgotten Vendetta Rider Charlie Smith played a big role in Tombstone.

painting earps vendetta cowboys riding by bud bradshaw
“Earp’s Vendetta” painting by Bud Bradshaw.

His name was O.C. “Harelip Charlie” Smith, and he may be the least known member of Wyatt Earp’s Vendetta Ride.  But the Connecticut native—nicknamed because of a cleft palate—had a remarkable career of his own.

Smith was the only Vendetta Rider to return to Tombstone, where he served as a lawman for many years.  He helped track the perpetrators of the Bisbee Massacre and went after train robbers in 1887. One reason that he might be forgotten:  there are no known photos of Charlie Smith.

Fame, Fortune and a Snowball’s Chance in Hell

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