We are but warriors for the working day:
Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirched
With rainy marching in the painfield field …
And time hath worn us into slovenry;
But, by the mass, our hearts are in the trim.
It was still dark on Tuesday, November 24, 1863, as Capt. J.R. Millison quietly led a detachment of the 29th Pennsylvania across the narrow top of an old milldam in rain-swollen Lookout Creek to this field. The fog and gloom concealed the attack and he surprised and captured 42 Confederate outpost pickets.
His troops stood guard while others cut timer and built a rough foot bridge. Skirmishes 4 miles up the creek at another mill and bridge construction 3 miles below were intended to mislead the Confederate troops, as the sound of the axe and hammer could be heard on the summit. Then 3,000 troops, screened behind the high hill across the creek, marched over. By order they lined from this field up to the base of the bluffs seen above. Then they fought their way toward the Point of Lookout, through great ravines, around huge rocks, past timber slashed to obstruct them, among briers, their feet slipping on the steep slopes, shooting and being shot at.
Captain Millison was severely wounded leading his men. Hence this little field bears his name.
Historical text written by William O. Steele, award-winning children’s author from Signal Mountain, Tennessee