The AI is truly terrible. Some of it is just bad programming (moving the generals back and forth repeatedly, and ensuring that no stack consistently gets initiative, for example) that could easily have been avoided. Some of it is negligence (failure to garrison large, PP-rich cities like Savannah, Charleston, and Wilmington). And some of it, for whatever reason, is typical of any Civil War game (huge ANVs that sit in Richmond, while the Union overruns the west and Tennessee with ease).
All of this could and should have been fixed in early patches. You can say PBEM is better and that the AI will never be the equal of a human player, but to leave it in this shape was ridiculous. How hard would it have been to make sure the AI maintains a logical balance of forces between Virginia, the Mississippi, and Tennessee? How hard would it have been to make sure the AI doesn't move its generals back and forth, forth and back every turn, keeping its armies from gaining initiative? And how hard would it have been to simply hard-code the CSA AI to keep 1-2 infantry units in Savannah, Charleston, Wilmington, and other ports to make it next-to-impossible for the the Union to vulture these cities up so easily?
Frankly, I feel like I'm playing only against the initiative die rolls, which only calls attention to how random this aspect of the game is. I advance if I hit a certain die roll and I bog down if I fail it. The CSA's army has nothing to do with it. And the CSA AI should be the easier one to program!
Frankly, the reviews were very misleading on this point.
The AI can be... and is better than you think.....