Sketch of Life of Harvey M. Rawlins Sr., By himself
I am giving a sketch of my early experience of the Church. I first joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints about the middle of June, 1844. On the 27th of the same month and of the same year our Prophet Joseph and Hyrum Smith were murdered at C myself and Bro. Isaac Stuart went to the jail and saw them hauling the dead bodies of our Prophet and Patriarchs Hyrum, and wounded John Taylor and the blood on the ground where they set Joseph against the well curb.
The next instant of much note was that of the burning of 1845 south of Nauvoo about 18 miles at what was called Green Plains and High Land Branch. The burning first began with the burning of a man's barn by the Durphy. He stepped out to see something about it and the mob shot and killed him. From that they kept on and burned people's dwellings, sent word to people to move out, they were going to burn their houses. There was a company to guard the settlement. I was one of that company, saw many houses burned and laying in ashes, their families sitting around the fire in the scorching sun. There are many more incidences of this burning I might relate but time and space will not permit.
In the spring of '46, left Illinois, crossed the Mississippi River in a flat boat, (became frightened ) with a herd of cattle. They became frightened and rushed to end of boat, and the boat dipped water, that frightened them more and they rushed to other end, sinking the boat. Both men and cattle were thrown into the river and many came very near being drowned, myself being one of that number, but all were saved.
I then came on with a company of Saints to Council Bluffs, and stopped. 'Twas then the call came for five hundred volunteers to go fight the Mexicans, in what is known as the Mormon Battalion. I was away on business at the time, got back just in time to see them before starting away. I stayed there until the spring of '48 and then started to Utah.