Gatling, Richard Jordan, 1818–1903, American inventor, b. Winton, N.C. He invented agricultural implements, which he manufactured in St. Louis, and then studied medicine in Indiana and Ohio, but he is remembered as the creator of a rapid-firing gun that was the precursor of the modern machine gun. He offered the Gatling gun to the Union army in the Civil War and successfully demonstrated it in Dec., 1862, but it was not accepted by the Ordnance Dept. until 1866, after the war had ended. It was long used by the U.S. army until replaced by more modern types.
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