This formal portrait by Mathew Brady is of then-Congressman Charles Russell Train of Massachusetts. He was elected to his second term in March 1861 to serve to March 1863, but left Washington in early September 1862 with a Volunteer Captain’s commission on the staff of Brigadier General George H Gordon, a brigade commander in the Twelfth Army Corps – headed for Antietam.

He resigned that commission and returned to Massachusetts politics and his law practice soon after the Maryland Campaign, in November 1862.

An interesting note on his résumé is that he declined a nomination from President Millard Fillmore in 1852 to be an Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court. It turns out that, even after submitting 3 nominees to the US Senate in 1852 and 1853, President Fillmore failed to fill the seat. Franklin Pierce, his successor of the other party, had his nominee John A. Campbell confirmed within 3 weeks of his inauguration in March 1853.

Perhaps Train knew something of his chances when making his decision.

The history of Supreme Court nominations and executive and legislative action or inaction on them is fascinating. For a complete rundown, see this lovely document:

[click image for 1.7MB PDF]



Congressman Train’s photograph is online and is from the Brady-Handy photograph collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

The Congressional Research Service’s Supreme Court Nominations, 1789 to 2020 was posted online by the Federation of American Scientists in 2022.

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