In 1915 Mrs. C. Helen Plane, of Atlanta, the widow of a gallant Confederate officer who was killed in battle, and a charter member of the United Daughters of Confederacy, wrote Mr. Borglum a letter inviting him, on behalf of the U.D.C., to visit Stone Mountain and pass judgement upon the idea, which had been suggested by various people and given considerable publicity, of carving on the precipice a colossal statue of Robert E. Lee.
When the sculptor gazed upon the mighty background, almost a thousand feet in height and more
than three thousand feet long, he instantly received the impression that a single statue
representing one man would be too small. He frankly told the ladies that in his opinion a figure
of Lee alone would be dwarfed into insignificance by the mountain. They challenged him to
produce a greater plan which would be in keeping with the magnitude of the precipice.