Counters for Patterson’s Brigade (3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, III Corps of the Army of the Potomac). These units were known as the Second New Jersey Brigade (the First was in the VI Corps across the Chickahominy and not engaged).
In actuality, Patterson did not lead the brigade during the battle of Fair Oaks / Seven Pines. Colonel Starr of the 5th Regiment was in charge those days because Patterson was extremely ill.
This brigade was stationed on the far left and rear of the Union lines near White Oak Swamp. On 31 May, Hooker sent the 7th and 8th regiments to guard the crossing at Bottom’s bridge and recover stragglers. Meanwhile, Hooker himself took charge and led the 5th and 6th regiments to the front.
They got there too late to fight on Saturday, so they slept in place with their weapons ready and took up the fight on Sunday, 1 June.
There is some controversy about the events of 1 June 1862. McClellan gives a great deal of credit to Sickles’ men for driving the Confederates back. However, Starr wrote a private letter to NJ Governor Olden on the 6th to set him straight: ”[t]he bayonet charge with which the regiment of Sickles’ Brigade is credited,if made at all, was made upon an empty forest in which was not an enemy.”