On December 19th, 1854 Mexican War veteran Capt. Jonathon Davis was traveling a trail in El Dorado County, California with two companions, James C. McDonald and Dr. Bolivar A. Sparks, when they were suddenly ambushed by a gang of 14 cutthroat bandits. A motley collection of the lowest scum of the earth, the gang had made a living robbing and murdering American and Chinese miners on their way to the California gold fields. At the outset of the ambush McDonald was killed and Dr. Sparks was wounded.
Outnumbered 14 to 1, Capt. Davis drew a pair of cap and ball single action revolvers and returned fire. In a blaze of gunfire Davis managed to kill seven of the outlaws and wound three others. With his revolvers empty, Davis drew his bowie knife as the remaining four bandits charged, also armed with knives and a sword. Davis parried a slash from the sword wielding attacker, then stabbed him in the chest. He then sliced the fingers off another attacker followed by a slash which removed a third assailants nose. The remaining assailant and the wounded fled in terror.
The whole battle was witnessed by a hunting party on a nearby hill. When they arrived at the scene they found 7 dead bandits, four others would later succumb to their wounds. As for Davis he escaped the onslaught unharmed with the exception of a few scratches and a bullet hole in his hat.