The day after the gunfight with squatters in the streets of Sacramento Sheriff McKinney and about twenty men left town in search of squatters involved in the gun battle. They proceeded out past Sutter’s Fort and the Five Mile House to the Pavilion where they learned squatters were at a roadside drinking house two miles further called Allen’s. McKinney divided his men into six squads and ordered them to approach the saloon from different directions.
When McKinney’s group arrived he dismounted and jokingly told everyone to get a drink. When he went in with several of his men he found eight or ten squatters waiting for him inside. He brazenly ordered them to drop their guns and surrender. They answered with a volley of gun fire. Steady firing went on for a few minutes. In spite of the confusion McKinney managed to get outside the saloon but when he stood near the door a man from inside fired a load of buckshot into him. McKinney died from his injuries. Another member of his party was shot in the forearm and a third was hurt when his horse threw him. Two squatters were killed and two more wounded. Four were taken into custody.
John Rose Putnam is the author of HANGTOWN CREEK, INTO THE FACE OF THE DEVIL and TALES FROM THE PROMISED LAND, hard driving historical fiction from the California gold rush. See more at John Rose Putnam.com.