|Wikipedia Source - James Alexander Gordon|
The Real Hornblower (from the description at Amazon excerpted below):
"Ever since C.S. Forester's fictional hero Horatio Hornblower began to delight and enthrall readers, there has been speculation as to whether his adventures were based on the career of a real naval officer."
"However...the author had been deliberately reticent regarding a Captain James Alexander Gordon, RN, who had led his squadron up the Potomac. Further inspection of naval records revealed a startling number of parallels between the careers of Gordon and Hornblower."