How Did Gatling Gun Change Throughout The Civil War

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During the Civil War, new weapons were invented that dramatically changed the way the war was fought. One of those inventions was the Gatling Gun. Invented by Richard Gatling, this gun would bring in a new and more powerful weapon into war. Though not widely used in the Civil War, it would later have a major impact on battlefields everywhere. Though it was intended to make war more humane, the Gatling Gun had the opposite impact. Richard Gatling was an inventor of many things, but his machine gun was the most famous. During the mid-1800’s, newer guns were coming out that were making armies more effective. For example, the Colt Revolver was one of the first guns to fire more than one bullet at a time. The Gatling gun was unique because, with the benefit of a hand crank and someone to keep feeding bullets into it, the gun, with its …show more content…
Gatling himself thought his gun would make war more humane. In fact, he once said “It occurred to me that if I could invent a machine – a gun – which could by its rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as a hundred, that it would, to a large extent supersede the necessity of large armies, and consequently, exposure to battle and disease [would] be greatly diminished. “ In short, Gatling believed that the Gatling Gun would save lives.
The long-term impact of this, however, was increased bloodshed on the battlefield. For example, in World War I, millions of injuries and deaths were connected to machine gun fire. In one battle alone, the Battle of the Somme, there were 60,000 deaths on the first day of battle, mainly because of machine guns. What is sadly ironic is that similar to Eli Whitney and the cotton gin, Gatling invented something with one goal in mind, only to find that, over time, the opposite