On religious grounds, former Senator and Congressman Franklin Pierce chose "to affirm" rather than "to swear" the executive oath of office. He was the only President to use the choice offered by the Constitution. Famed as an officer of a volunteer brigade in the Mexican War, he was nominated as the Democratic candidate in the national convention on the 49th ballot. His name had not been placed in nomination until the 35th polling of the delegates. Chief Justice Roger Taney administered the oath of office on the East Portico of the Capitol. Several weeks before arriving in Washington, the Pierces' only surviving child had been killed in a train accident.