- May 12, 2018
Better known as the "Coffee Mill" Machine Gun, and also called the Agar Gun after it's inventor, these were some of the very first practical machine guns invented during the war, though they saw limited use due to the cost of ammunition, and it's unreliability. The chief defect was the tendency of the guns to over heat after firing, as they had only one barrel and no real cooling system. I imagine fouling with black powder was a problem too! I'm not aware of what kind of limber these would have used though I'd guess at "Prairie" carriage or 6 lber style limbers. It's interesting to note that the gun's ammunition boxes are mounted on the carriage, which in terms of artillery was a bit of a throwback but given the way these guns would go through rounds was probably a plus.
Ohio received two of these guns in 1861, according to the records of the Quartermaster General, and subsequently issued them back out to a unknown unit in 1862. Does anyone know what unit might have received them?
It certainty is interesting to think that, as early as 1861 Ohio was introduced to the machine gun in a primitive form. I kind of wonder what artillerymen like James Barnett thought of the newfangled contraption at the time!
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