Ooltewah ( hear it (help·info)) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Hamilton County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 5,681 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Chattanooga, TN–GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Ooltewah was once the county seat of James County, a former Tennessee county which 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.
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, November 25th, 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, Tennessee before nightfall.