this morning, and states that the troops who were at Princeton (2,000 with two guns) have gone to Hopkinsville; that with the exception of two parties of cavalry, of about 50 men each, who were noting up and down from the Ohio plundering, no troops were between Ford's Ferry and Princeton; that he learned from an old, who had a son (a lieutenant) in the rebel army, whom she saw just as he was about marching from Princeton, that his regiment was to go to Muldraugh's Hill, and that the force at Hopkinsville would soon move in the same direction.
Immediately after getting this statement the captain of the steamer Golden Gate, which plies between Evansville and Cairo, came to inform me that his vessel had been forbidden to go to Caseyville by Captain Seaton, of the Twenty-second Illinois Regiment, stationed at Cave in Rock, with about 40 men of his company, on the ground that a party of 600 to 1,000 were at caseyville (in camp), and intended to take his steamer and cross over.
I have just order three full companies of the Eighth Missouri, with a howitzer, under a field officer, to proceed to Cave in Rock, to act as circumstances may require.
As soon as the Conestoga (gunboats) returns from up the Tennessee I will sent her up to Caseyville.
I sent the Conestoga up the Tennessee to look after the rebel gunboat, which I understand had been making a reconnaissance below Fort Henry. I imagine this so-called reconnaissance was merely a trial trip. I think it advisable to have another gunboat here as an additional security.
I inclose Captain Seaton's letter to me.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. F. SMITH,
P. S.-The telegraph wire has not been in working order for the past two day, or I would have sent the substance of the above in that way.
P. P. S.-The Conestoga has returned since writing the above, and will at once of up to Caseyville.
Cave in Rock, November 29, 1861.
DEAR SIR: Send troops up here immediately, as the secessionists are on the point of crossing over into Illinois at Caseyville, 8 miles above here form 600 to 1,000 strong. They made their appearance at Caseyville late this afternoon, and pitched their tents upon the hill. It is their intention of seize upon a steamboat and appropriating her for their use in crossing here. Two messengers rowed down to this point in a skiff and two more just arrived on horseback, all giving the same information, one corroboration the other. The first was from Kentucky and the others from this side. Send them immediately.
Captain, Twenty-second Regiment, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI,
Cairo, December 1, 1861.
Captain J. C. KELTON, Saint Louis, Mo.:
Bishop Major-General Polk's three gunboats made a Sunday excursion up to see us thins evening; fired fire or six shots when within about