The hold at all cost order is very effective at holding a single region, yes. Defensive fire is much stronger than offensive in this game. The offensive answer of course is just to go around that region, either by circling around the defensive position or opening an entirely new front to play in. Naval offensives are great for this, the union can move much faster by ship than the rebs can on their limited rail system. Take Tallahasse, Mobile , New Orleans etc. and you can make your own abuse of the hold at all costs order. Just make sure to have forces available to reinforce wherever the counterattack does come. Within a theater, try to spread him out defending 4 or more regions, and then converge your entire force wherever he looks weakest. If you attack the end of a 4 region line, only 2 of the corps will be available to defend. It is possible to breakthrough and rout the enemy if you have both overwhelming force and the frontage to use it. The difference between 300 and 100 is way bigger than the difference between 3000 and 1000, due to frontage limits. Therefore the attacker almost always wants thing as spread out as possible. Get out of VA and open some more fronts. Good things might happen.