The Civil War has been a topic of great interest to Charles Edmund Vetter since high school, and his affection for the subject strengthens with time. For the past 25 years, he has been teaching about, researching, and lecturing on the war and, more specifically, on Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. Today Vetter is a well-known Sherman scholar, and is Chairman of the Department of Sociology at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he teaches both sociology and military history.
In college, his master's thesis was on Sherman's theory of total war, and it was just the beginning of Vetter's curiosity in the man. The publication of Sherman: Merchant of Terror, Advocate of Peace is the culmination of years of research on the Civil War for Vetter's professional writings and public speaking engagements. In his book, Vetter analyzes the complexities and diversities of the man, the evolution of his philosophy of war, his relationship with Gen. U.S. Grant, Sherman's place in the context of American military history, and the sociological impact of his military actions.
For the past three years, Vetter has served as president of the North Louisiana Civil War Round Table and coordinator of the Trans-Mississippi Civil War Symposium. In the summer of 1987 he was selected, along with 40 other teachers nationwide, to attend the Military History Workshop at the United States Military Academy at West Point for a full month of extensive study and travel.
He earned his BA in history and philosophy at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and his MA and PhD at the University of North Texas in Denton. He began his teaching career at Tyler (Texas) Junior College, and later at Stephen F. Austin State University.
Born and raised in Houston, Vetter is married and has four children. He created and hosted a television talk show, “The Heart of Shreveport,” which focused on community issues. In 1984, he started the Center For Learning Enhancement and Research, Inc., a program geared toward working with students who have learning problems. He finds great fulfillment in reading and researching, and travels to Vicksburg National Military Park at least twice a year for study and relaxation.