A hand-cranked, rapid fire gun was developed by a Confederate officer “that could fire as many as sixty-five 1.57-inch shells per minute.” Because production facilities in the South were limited, “this primitive machine gun was believed to have seen service only at the battle of Seven Pines.”
A North Carolina native, Richard J. Gatling, designed a gun that fired 250 rounds per minute. Union warships used a few of them during the siege of Petersburg, but the weapon didn’t have a significant impact on the turn of the war.
It was after the war that the first modern machine gun was created. Its creator claimed that the gun killed so rapidly, wars would eventually cease to exist.