Hey everybody! I was testing out a new creek near the town of Newport, Virginia, that has a lot of local history and I managed to find this. I almost passed on the signal, thinking it was a can, but I dug it anyway and this came out. The object appears to be made of lead, fans out at the base, and has a hole on one side of the base. There is a threaded key-like item at the top of a hook, which also has a hole through it. I have absolutely no idea what this is, so could anybody give me a hand? Thanks in advance.
Though y’all might like to know that I did some more research on these “gravity cell” batteries and found that they dated to around the 1860s and were very popular for telegraph networks all the way through to the 1950s. The field that runs along the creek where this item was found used to be a union encampment back during the war, so this very well may have come from their camp operations.