Ooltewah is a census-designated place (CDP) in Hamilton County, Tennessee, United States. It is a city near Chattanooga. The population was 687 at the 2010 census. Ooltewah is an enclave in the city of Collegedale.
Ooltewah was the county seat of James County, a former Tennessee county that went bankrupt in 1919 and was subsequently incorporated into Hamilton County. The former James County Courthouse located in the square in downtown Ooltewah is the community's major landmark. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Alfred Cate (1822–1871), a resident of Ooltewah, was a prominent Southern Unionist and leader in the East Tennessee bridge-burning conspiracy. Cate and his men destroyed three Chattanooga-area railroad bridges on the night of November 8, 1861, in hopes of paving the way for a Union invasion of East Tennessee.
On November 24, 1863, the 4th Michigan Cavalry entered Ooltewah and captured seventeen Confederates, including two officers, and destroyed a train of four wagons. On the next day, the 4th Michigan Cavalry destroyed the Ooltewah railroad bridge, burned 4,000 pounds of flour, and captured a Confederate Lieutenant Colonel before moving on to Cleveland before nightfall.