@teastain Thanks for checking and confirming. If the Lilygo indeed has an onboard Li-ion charger, then i highly suspect my battery interface is toast. I have not at any point reversed the polarity.
No problem i guess, i just have to change the design of my project to leverage an externally connected USB-C circuit. not ideal as the project isn't "independent" but until i get another unit, it'll have to do.
Good to know that its supposed to have an on-board charger and can take a li-ion battery though!