…is one of my favorite films. There’s always discussion over just what Lee was thinking with Pickett’s charge. I think I know exactly what he was thinking. Up until then the Army of Northern Virginia had been completely victorious, it had done everything that Lee had asked of it, usually in the face of superior numbers. Lee had defeated the Union Army every time and he was only a few days march from Washington; victory at Gettysburg potentially meant winning the war.
I think when Lee looked out that morning at the Union lines he thought that he was on the cusp of winning the war and he was going to do it in style with one massive infantry charge that would go down in the history books as the charge that won the war. There’s no doubt in my mind that Lee expected heavy casualties but I think he also expected that his “invincible” army would smash the Union centre anyway.
Essentially he was trying to pull off another Austerlitz.