CAIRO, August 11, 1861.
Gen. Prentiss left here on Saturday evening for St. Louis and Quincy, on a short tour. Col. Cook, of the Seventh Regiment of Illinois volunteers, an able officer, is left in command of Camp Defiance until his return, which will be in two or three days.
The gun boats from Cincinnati, though due here on Saturday, have not arrived yet, being detained, probably, by the recent rapid falling of the Ohio river. Were they here, perhaps we would have a chance to swoop down on these New Madrid fellows, and give them some hot work, and a chance to see Cairo involuntarily.
At Col. Turchin's camp at Norfolk, six miles below, they report that scouts from the rebel camp are constantly scurrying round and levying on the inhabitants for provisions, grain, cattle, etc. The secessionists residing near this camp are getting bold and defiant, and openly boast that they will soon clean out the Federal troops at Bird's Point and vicinity. Several arrests have been made – one of a man who is charged with aiding in burning bridges on the Cairo and Fulton Railroad.
The troops at Bird's Point are rapidly perfecting in drill and efficiency.
The brigade of Gen. Prentiss, at Camp Defiance, is rapidly filling up, and in a few days will exceed in number the former one. The greatest care is taken in the choice of sound, healthy men. Some six thousand new substantial uniforms arrived here for it per railroad, on Saturday evening. The new brigade is also to be furnished with Minnie rifles, instead of the old “brown Besses” as formerly.
Military enthusiasm is largely on the increase in modern Egypt, and thousands are offering their services.
Hon. John A. Logan is raising a splendid regiment of picked men around Benton, which has been accepted by the War Department. — Hon. John Haynie, of Cairo, is to be tendered the command of a fine regiment now being raised in and about Cairo, which will be already in a few days for service.
Cols. Hunter and Reordon are raising a regiment at Metropolis, one company of which arrived by the Charles Bowen last evening, ready for service.
Col. Rombaur's regiment, from Bird's Point, left for St. Louis on the Louisiana last evening.
The work of paying off the troops is still going on and times are improving in Cairo. An immense amount of money on goods purchased for the army is still due to merchants and contractors here, and will probably be paid the coming week and will still further facilitate business.
Col. Cook's and Col. McArthur's regiments are now nearly full in their ranks.
The Nineteenth regiment at Norfolk, complain greatly of the unhealthfulness of their camp ground. It is in a swampy, wet locality, surrounded by a malarious atmosphere. There are already 115 sick in the regiment.
It is said that Price's Landing has been a regular depot for arms, munitions, etc., that have been shipped to the secessionists at Charleston, Columbus and other places; and that Price has a son who is acting as a captain in Pillow's army. This is alledged as the cause for burning the warehouse.