Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, 2003, Excerpts
Ever since the assassination, non-Mormons had stepped up their violent campaign to drive the Saints from Hancock County. Throughout the summer of 1845 anti-Mormon vigilantes roamed the county setting fire to Mormon homes and farms. By September 15, 1845, forty-four Mormon residences had been burned to the ground.
A few days later, a bank of Mormons captured a youthful Gentile man named McBracking, whom they suspected of burning Mormon homes. McBracking begged for his life, but the Saints weren’t in a forgiving mood. They castrated him, cut his throat, sliced off one of his ears, and shot him two or three times.
By now passions were at flash point on both sides of the conflict. Posses of enraged Mormons and Gentiles ranged back and forth across the county in a rampage of arson and plunder, burning more than two hundred homes.