On July 15, 1863, the U.S. War Department issued General Orders, No. 217, announcing that the Departments of Virginia and North Carolina had been merged under the command of Major General John G. Foster.
General Orders, No. 217.
War Dep’t, Adjutant General’s Office,
Washington, July 15, 1863
I.–By Direction of the President of the United States, the Departments of Virginia and North Carolina are united into one, and Major general J.G. Foster assigned to the command.
II.–Major General John A. Dix will immediately repair to New York city, and relieve Major General Wool from the command of the Department of the East.
By Order of the Secretary of War:
E.D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant General