I would consider North and South to be the first real-time strategy game I've ever played. The strategic elements where you move armies around the map is surely turn based, but the actual battle is very similiar to today's RTS.
A nice detail is that you can destroy things on the battlefield. You can blow up houses with your cannon and you can destroy bridges, making it harder for the enemy to get across. You can join your armies and make a grand army, and use your advantage if you have more cannons than your enemy or more horses.
The start menu in this game is fantastic. There are so many options and you reach them by clicking on different parts of the screen. If you push the photographer on the bottoms he will make a fun sound and gesture. :)
Another fun detail is that if you would just leave the game alone in the start menu, it would start playing itself.
This was a great game to play with friends. I believe that the e-sports could be updated to include this great title.