I love playing with max generals. I tried hidden and random stats until I figured out that from the Confederate standpoint it is mostly a technique to affect game balance. I have stats on 106 Confederate generals which I know is not exhaustive, but should be statistically representative. The following small table indicates how many CSA generals have the highest individual ratings:
Initiative leadership tactics command
8-3 8-6 8-7 8-2
7-2 7-15 7-22 7-6
6-7 6-17 6-21 6-16
And of the 106, there are 19 who have no number lower than 5 (good).
As you can see, the South is hurting for generals with initiative; otherwise they are in great shape.
When I played with random, hidden stats, the Confederate edge in leadership completely evaporated. Their stats were nowhere near the historical levels, and every general had at least one number below 5 (good). Their advantage over the North disappeared. And it changed somewhat the military portion of the game.
Random stats seems to be another technique, like European diplomacy, that the player can use to balance out the game. I love to use hidden stats, with their thrill of discovery, but am not willing to sacrifice one of the South's major advantages on the battlefield.
That said, yes it's a great game. And unlike a number of people who post on this forum I enjoy the detailed battles more than what happens in between, and the larger the better.