Ruff Phillips served in Company C, 48th Missouri Volunteers, and as a drummer in the 7th Illinois Cavalry. The 7th Illinois participated in operations in Tennessee and Mississippi, including the famous Grierson's raid. After the war he moved to Champaign, where he was employed for a time by John Moss. He died of consumption in Danville on 16 February 1879 and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Urbana.