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On September 11, 1776. Two Franciscan Priests, Father Escalante & Father Dominguez entered what is now the State of Utah, and several weeks later camped in a mountain pass.
It is believed that the fathers gave the pass its first name, calling it Grassy Pass. The name was changed to Soldier Pass when Johnson’s Army at Camp Floyd was ordered east in 1861, about 40 officers & enlisted men from the Southern States were given permission to leave the U.S. Army & go south to join the Confederate Army. They arrived at Grassy Pass in a blizzard, six or seven men & a fourteen year old boy were frozen to death & were buried by a spring near the summit of the pass. The Rio Grande Western Railroad Company in 1880 named the pass Soldier Summit in its first time table.