Ok, well, I've tried playing a couple of times as the Union up to 1863, and heavens it's challenging, although perhaps that's because I am playing with both random and hidden leader traits. I always liked that aspect of other Civil War games, and I can't imagine playing one with all the leaders' abilities know from the beginning. That seems crazy. Not, of course, that this game truly randomizes the leaders' abilities. Grant and Sherman always seem to do pretty well, etc.
Anyway, I have a question - am I right that partisan activity & therefore the need to garrison those areas NEVER diminishes? That seems odd.
And here's another: Which is the recommended side to play for the less experienced player, which I surely am?