He studied at the Tübinger Stift in Tübingen, and from 1840 to 1847 served as an assistant pastor in Dettingen an der Erms and as a pastor in Hülben. From 1847 to 1850, Zimmermann taught history at the Oberrealscule in Stuttgart. He was a democrat in philosophy and belief. Accordingly, he took part in the revolutionary uprising in Germany in 1848 through 1849. In 1848, he was elected as a deputy to the Frankfurt National Assembly. At assembly, he caucused with the "Left wing" deputies. In 1850, Zimmermann was dismissed from his position as a teacher at the Oberrealschule because of his participation in the revolution of 1848-1849 and because of his caucusing with the Left wing in the Frankfurt Assembly. Zimmermann died in 1878.
In 1841–43 he published the 3-volume Allgemeine Geschichte des großen Bauernkrieges (General History of the Great Peasant War).