Wounded To The Rear, One More Shot
Overall: 23 3/4 x 10 x 9 1/2 in. ( 60.3 x 25.4 x 24.1 cm )
inscribed: back of base: "PATENTED/ JAN 17..." inscribed: front of base: "WOUNDED TO THE REAR/ONE MORE SHOT"
A plaster sculptural group featuring two wounded soldiers. To the right, a standing soldier tries to get a cartridge out of its case while his other arm is in a sling. To the left, a sitting soldier wraps a bandage around his leg. Group bears Patent # 2024: January 17, 1865.
Rogers began work on this sculpture in September 1864, when war-weary Northerners were heartened by General William T. Sherman's capture of Atlanta. By the time Rogers released the group in November, Abraham Lincoln had been reelected by a wide margin, and Sherman's March to the Sea had devastated the South. Rogers' timing was excellent, and his choice of subject, the courage and tenacity of the Union soldier, proved very popular. His sales catalogue described how two wounded Union soldiers had been ordered to the rear during a battle, but one stopped to take one last shot at the enemy before leaving. The standing soldier's left arm is in a sling, and with his good arm he draws a cartridge from his pouch as he casts a flinty stare at the enemy. His comrade sits below, carefully binding up his injured leg. The subject was commonly known as One More Shot to distinguish it from Rogers' previous group Wounded Scout: A Friend in the Swamp (1936.655, 1928.31). In that work, an escaped slave guides an injured Union soldier who is almost fainting in his arms. By contrast, the wounded infantrymen in One More Shot are stalwart, and Rogers' depiction of the rank-and-file soldier's fighting spirit in the face of adversity earned the group lasting popularity. It remained in his sales catalogue until the end of his career, and it was a popular gift for veterans. In fact, it was one of two Rogers Groups that General George Custer took with him wherever he was assigned. Naturally, the subject was warmly praised for heroizing the Union soldier, but it also earned accolades for its artistic merits. A Brooklyn newspaper pointed out Rogers' success in integrating his storytelling details into a successful whole. The group even earned international acclaim for its originality. Rogers took a honeymoon trip to Europe in May 1865 and arranged for the display and sale of his groups in London. The London Times reported that his Civil War groups, One More Shot among them, "have the refreshing and unmistakable stamp of nationality upon them," and they represented "better work for the plastic artist than imitating [the] antique nudities [of the traditional Neoclassical style]." One More Shot was so admired that it was used as a commemorative gift, a kind of monument in miniature, for important Civil War figures after the fighting ended. Friends of William A. Buckingham commissioned a copy in bronze from Rogers to present to that wartime Connecticut governor (now in a private collection). In 1868 a plaster copy was given to General Joseph R. Hawley, then president of the Republican National Convention that nominated General Ulysses S. Grant for the presidency. Hawley declared, "Nothing relating to the war in painting or sculpture surpasses 'One Shot More.'"
Articles, Scrapbooks of miscellaneous clippings, etc. about John Rogers, Vols. 1, 3, 4, New York Historical Society. Daily Evening Transcript, Boston, July 14, 1865, n.p. Tuckerman, Henry T., Book of the Artists, American Artist Life, Comprising Biographical and Critical Sketches of American Artists: Preceded by an Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of Art in America, New York: P. Putnam & Son, 1867, pp. 595-7. Wells, Samuel R., ed., "John Rogers, the Sculptor," American Phrenological Journal and Life Illustrated, Vol. 49, no. 9, September, 1869, pp. 329-30. Lossing, Benson J., "The Artist as Historian," The American Historical Record, Vol. 1, no. 6, June, 1872, pp. 16, 242-4. Barck, Dorothy, "Rogers Group in the Museum of the New-York Historical Society," New-York Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. XVI, No. 3, October, 1932, p. 76. Smith, Mrs. and Mrs. Chetwood, Rogers Groups: Thought and Wrought by John Rogers, Boston: Charles E. Goodspeed & Co., 1934, pp.70-1. Wallace, David H., John Rogers, The People's Sculptor, Middleton, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1967, pp. 101, 117, 135, 148, 166, 213-4, 294, 297-9, 304. Craven, Wayne, Sculpture in America, New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1968, pp. 357-366. Rivers, Betty, "Sculpture for the Parlor," The New York Times, July 28, 1968, p. 21. Bleier, Paul and Meta, John Rogers Statuary, Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2001, pp. 92-3. Clapper, Michael, "Reconstructing a Family: John Rogers's Taking the Oath and Drawing Rations," Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 39, No. 4, Winter 2004, pp. 259-78.
Gift of Mr. Samuel V. Hoffman
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.