|This historic burial ground was founded May 30, 1849 on a five acre parcel of land owned by the Union Lodge No. 35 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The emblem of the Odd Fellows, three interlocking links representing Friendship, Love and Faith, inspired the original design of the cemetery laid out in three links formed by interlocking oval driveways.|
The first recorded burial was in July 1849; however many tombstones bear earlier dates, but those interments were moved to Friendship from other burial sites in Columbus. The cemetery has now expanded to 60 acres containing approximately 15,000 graves.
Buried in Friendship are four Congressmen, two Mississippi governors, three presidents of Mississippi University for Women, two literary figures, five Confederate generals as well as 2,194 Confederate soldiers who died in the Battle of Shiloh.
A memorial ceremony honoring the Civil War soldiers on April 25, 1866 has been credited as the forerunner of the modern Memorial Day.
Friendship was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.