Many new weapons were invented during the Civil War. This is an early machine gun. The gun had 25 barrels and could fire 175 shots a minute. It was invented by a dentist named Josephus Requa. Wlliam Billinghurst, a gun maker, helped him.
This specific gun was one of two Billinghurst-Requa guns bought by Kentucky in 1864. They were never used during the war. This gun is missing a barrel. Supposedly the missing barrel was used as a fireplace poker in the office of the head of the Kentucky army.
This resource is part of the A State Divided: Exploring the Civil War Through Images collection.