Benoni Point

Lower Choptank River Historic Site

Dates

1780

Other Names

None

River

Lower Choptank

Mile

5.8

County

 Talbot

Cultural Resources: Revolutionary War skirmish site.

On November 7, 1780, the Tory schooner Spitfire carrying 4-pound cannon and a crew of about forty men, entered Tred Avon River (then called Third Haven Creek) and anchored of Benoni Point which separates Tred Avon from the Choptank River.  A party landed and seized three men who lived there.  One of them escaped as they were being taken back to the ship.  The captain of the vessel hoped these men would serve as pilots to take them to nearby Oxford but the Americans refused.  Spitfire sailed up the Choptank and seized the schooner Mayflower at the home of shipmaster Captain Ned Noel.  Meanwhile about 100 local militia under the command of Major Jeremiah Banning began patrolling the Tred Avon River.  On the 9thSpitfire returned to Benoni Point to release the two American captives, but the militia, not knowing of their intent, fired on the British who released the Americans in waters up to their necks and sailed away. Over time this fray has been embellished and referred to as the Battle of Benoni Point.  Benoni Point is located at the end of Ferry Neck Road, Ferry Neck, west of Oxford.

The party...attempted to land at Benoni’s point in this county, for the purpose of pillaging the farm house there, but were promptly met by the Talbot militia, under Major Jeremiah Banning, and driven off without their booty.  It was thought they lost one man in this attempt (Major Banning, journal entry).

On Thursday their boat came towards Benoni’s Point, with the purpose of landing the two men they had taken from thence but the militia stationed there not conjecturing their design, fired upon them as they approached the shore; whereupon they put the two men up to their necks in the water and returned to the privateer, which upon this occasion fired a cannon shot or two at the militia (Henry Hollyday, Ratcliffe Manor, a few miles up the Tred Avon River).

Map Gallery

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Photo Gallery

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Benoni Point shows extensive erosion since the USGS map above was produced from aerial imagery.

 

 

 

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River Sections:
Lower Choptank
Lower Tributaries
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Upper Choptank
Tuckahoe

Historic Sites
on the Lower
Choptank River