Plant phenolic acids are found in soils and their importance has been implicated in various soil processes, including biochemical weathering of minerals, humus formation, interactions between plants (allelopathy), and nutrient availability to plants. P-hydroxybenzoic, vanillic, p-coumaric, and ferulic acids were added to soils at a rate of 5.15 mmol/kg, extracted with Mehlich III extractant immediately and on Days 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32, and quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. The recovery of phenolic acids from Cecil (Typic Hapludults, clayey, kaolinitic, thermic), Portsmouth (Typic Umbraquualts, fine loamy, mixed, thermic), and White Store (Vertic Hapludalfs, fine, mixed, thermic) soils varied with soil type, horizon (A1 and B1), time, and type of functional group present on the aromatic ring. There was significant instantaneous sorption of all compounds in all soils; in A1 horizon materials, recovery decreased as soil organic matter increased. There was generally greater sorption of phenolic acids in the A1 horizon materials than in the B1 horizon materials of a particular soil type. Significant declines in recovery occurred with time for all phenolic acids in each type of soil, irrespective of horizon. The sharpest decline in recovery of phenolic acids from soils generally occurred within 2 d after addition of the compounds. The presence of methoxy groups and acrylic side chains on the aromatic ring of phenolic acids increased the “sorption” of these compounds in soils. Sorption of the phenolic acids by the various soils was generally in the order of p-hydroxybenzoic ≤ vanillic <p-coumaric < ferulic.