|Portrait of Captain Gordon - Source|
The Canadian site War of 1812, a biography of naval commander Captain James Alexander Gordon (1782 - 1869), and included the following:
"In 1814, Gordon’s talents helped the British naval effort against the Americans during the War of 1812. He led a daring and successful expedition up the Potomac River from August to September. His raid on Alexandria and attack on Fort Washington were meant to divert American eyes away from General Robert Ross’s attack on Washington."
"Of the many expeditions up the bays and rivers of the United States during the late war, none equaled in brilliancy of execution that up the Potomac to Alexandria. This service was intrusted to Captain James Alexander Gordon, of the 38-gun frigate, Seahorse...". "On the 17th [August] at 9 h l5 m A.M., the squadron got under way from the anchorage at the entrance of the Potomac, and, without the aid of pilots, began ascending the intricate channel of the river leading to the capital of the United States." [Source]