It sounds like a plot device right out of a Hollywood movie. Meadows was a sharpshooter. In the trenches of Vicksburg, he'd somehow cobbled together something of a shield made of pig-iron. It had a hole in it through which he fired his weapon with relative security. Then, one day, the sharpshooter was shot in the eye through his very own "peephole" – yet survived. His medical records (filed under Meadors) confirmed he'd been "severely wounded."
This week, I was sent an old newspaper clipping that tells the rest of his remarkable story ... it was big enough news that – even though he was living in Alabama – newspapers around the country apparently picked up the story of Willis Meadows:
From the 26 March 1921 New Holland Clarion, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania:
Old Veteran Coughs Up Bullet.
Lanett, Ala. – W. V. Meadows,  years of age, of this place, veteran of the civil war, and shot in the eye at the battle of Vicksburg, July 1, 1863, coughed out the bullet and is in his usual good health, despite the fact that he had carried the slug weighing approximately one ounce in his head for fifty-eight years. Mr. Meadows was a member of Company G, thirty-seventh Alabama Infantry.
Many thanks to Joel Rodgers, the MIT researcher and Lancaster County native, who ran across the item in the paper's archives and sent it along to be housed with the collected stories of the 37th Alabama.