Tuesday, November 20, 2012

George Stone Kimball, Maine.

Push to enlarge.
 First Maine Cavalry.
Company C.

KIMBALL, GEORGE S. Age 27; res. Gardiner; mus. Oct. 20, '61, Augusta, as 2d lieut. ; pro. capt. '63; killed in action at Middleburg, Va., June 19, '63. 

Capt. George Stoxe Kimball, who descended from excellent stock, was boi-n at Gardiner, Me., Jan. 2, 1833. His father was Capt. Nathaniel Kimball, a native of Kennebec County, one of Maine's most skilful and successful sea captains, and the pioneer of steamboat navigation between Boston and the Kennebec River. His mother was a daughter of Col. John Stone, of Gardiner, who in his day was well known in the Kennebec valley, and highly esteemed for his many sterling virtues. Capt. Kimball graduated from Bowdoin College in 1853, and studied law in the office of Hon. Henry Ingalls, Wiscasset. After his legal course he went to Stillwater, Minn., and opened an office, where he practised law for a while; but not liking that then new country, he returned to his native city shortly before the opening of the war of the rebellion. Upon the call for troops, he was one of the first to resjiond, enlisting in the First Maine Cavalry, Sept. 20, 1861, and was soon after appointed second lieutenant; was promoted captain, April 13, 1863, and was killed in action at the head of his command, leading a charge at Middleburg, Va., June 19, 1863.

Before leaving Augusta, Me., the members of his company presented him with a sword and belt, which fell into the hands of the enemy, who held the ground sufficiently long to rifle the dead ; but when they were finally driven from the field, his body was recovered, embalmed, brought to Gardiner, and interred with apjiropriate and imposing public ceremonies.

He will be remembered by those who knew him for his many excellent qualities, as always courteous, kind, generous to a fault, full of jollity and life, and in earlier life always the foremost and most expert in all manly sports and games.

He was one of, if not the most, popular of the students in his college class, and the same traits of character were shown in his army life, making his companionship a source of pleasure. He was a gentleman honored and beloved by officers and soldiers, the thought of himself finding little place in his sympathetic and impulsive nature. He was married early in life, and left one child, a daughter, about eight years of age.

Notes from the regimental history.

George S. Kimball, made a charge up the pike, in which they were driven back and Lieut. Kimball was killed ; but the rest of the regiment came up and drove the enemy back. Col. Smith's horse was shot during the day.

Lieut. Kimball was killed beyond the enemy's first line, and in tlie few minutes intervening between the first and second charge, his body had been partially stripped and robbed.

The main body of the regiment attacked, and after a most spirited contest, the enemy in superior force retired. In connection with this fight, it is my purpose to speak more particularly of the charge made by Lieut. Kimball with Co. C. He dashed up the pike, ran the gauntlet of stone walls lined with dismounted men, penetrated a large body of mounted men posted just beyond the woods, and was killed when he had nearly gained their rear. Many of us knew him well. He was amiable, genial, unguarded, and he fell like a warrior. When I consider the superior forces encountered, the peculiar dangers of the situation, and the resistance actually overcome, I think that charge is not surpassed in gallantry by any other within my knowdedge. True, they were not " six hundred " ; there were hardly sixty, and Tennyson has not immortalized them; but when I recall the charge as I saw it, Kimball followed by his company of sorrels, compact and steady, and all moving like an arrow's Hight, swiftly and unerringly "into the jaws of death," I fail to see in what respect of heroism it is inferior even to the immortal " Charge of the Light Brigade."

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