Gen. Kimball's military life began in 1846 as a "marker boy" in the Fitchburg Fusiliers, and passing through the different grades of non-commissioned and commissioned officers, was made captain of the Fusiliers from 1855 to 1858, when he was made adjutant of the Ninth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, to 1860; again captain of the Fusiliers, which he took into the United States service, June 28, 1861, joining the Fifteenth Massachusetts Regiment of Infantry, in Worcester.

He was the senior captain in this regiment, major from Aug. 1, 1861 to Apr. 29, 1862, when he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel, which office he held until Nov. 10 of that year, when he was commissioned colonel of the Fifty-third Regiment of the Massachusetts Infantry. "For gallant and distinguished services in the field during the war," Mar. 13, 1865, was made brevet Brigadier-general, United States Volunteers.

For a time after the war, he was captain of the Fusiliers, Company B, also engineer on the staff of Gen. B. F. Butler, and later colonel of the Tenth Regiment of Militia.

Gen. Kimball also filled many civil offices in his native place, being representative in 1864, '65, '72; was trustee of the Worcester North Savings Institution, and Fitchburg Savings Bank. He filled the office of United States pension agent for the Western District of Massachusetts from Dec., 1873 to July 1, 1877; then custodian of rolls, dies, plates, etc., used in the printing of bonds, National Bank and United States Treasury Notes and the securities of the United States in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing department, Washington, D. C., until Feb., 1879, when he was postmaster until Mar. 16, 1887. Gen. Kimball has since held the office of state auditor of Massachusetts. They reside in Fitchburg. (1888)