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Pennsylvania troops reportedly use the machine gun in open combat for the first time in the war

Civil War Battle, iconic image
03/29/1862
The 28th Pennsylvania had been equipped for several weeks with the Ager Union Repeating Gun, a .58 drum-fed weapon firing 120 rounds per minute. They used it in open combat for the first time during the assault on Middleburg, Virginia, reportedly inflicting losses on retreating cavalry at a range of 800 yards.  Still, Colonel John White Geary, their commander, saw the weapon as ineffective and dangerous and returned it.  Machine guns, notably the Gatling, did go into action again during the war but their use was not widespread.  (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
Albert A. Nofi, A Civil War Treasury: being a miscellany of arms and artillery, facts and figures, legends and lore, muses and minstrels, personalities and people (Conchocken, PA: Combined Books, 1992), 179. 

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How to Cite This Page: "Pennsylvania troops reportedly use the machine gun in open combat for the first time in the war," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/38957.