EMPTY BARREL, the third book of the quadrilogy, continues the saga of the life of Sam Jacobsen and his relatives, from the War of 1812, to the Mexican War, up to the beginnings of the American Civil War. It describes the burning of Washington D.C., and includes brief insight into the Presidency of James Madison and the reign of his wife, Dolley. When Sam's relatives sail from Europe to America, they are unable to get through the British blockade on the East Coast and finally settle in New Orleans. Sam decides to visit them and travels by keelboat down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers with Mike Fink, a colorful character who has legendary notoriety similar to that of Davey Crockett. Finally arriving in New Orleans, Sam is precipitated into the war, is wounded, and recovers under the care of an attractive young woman who is involved in the local Voodoo style of medicine. They have a mutually agreeable relationship. He returns home and is delighted, with his wife, to adopt a small boy from Europe. After a tragic episode, Sam enlists the help of a woman versed in Black Magic to avenge the murder of his wife. A cousin is drafted to fight in the Mexican War and eventually winds up in Baltimore, where Sam befriends him. He marries Sam's daughter and embarks on a career of preaching.