It was apparently intended by Menshikov that the column from the field army should attack the position from the north, and that the Sevastopol column should advance along the west side of the Careenage Ravine.
General Soimonov, with the Sevastopol column, after assembling his troops before dawn on the 5th, led them on to the upland east of Careenage Ravine, while the field army column, under General Pavlov, crossed the Tchernaya near its mouth, almost at right angles to Soimonov's line of advance.
This battle derives its name from a ruin on the northern bank of the river Tchernaya near its mouth, but it was fought some distance away, on a nameless ridge (styled Mount Inkerman after the event) between the Tchernaya and the Careenage Ravine, which latter marked the right of the siegeworks directed against Sevastopol itself.
But the right wing, not as yet attacked, either by Soimonov or by Pavlov, held on to its positions on the forward slope, and a column of Russian sailors and marines, .who had been placed under Soimonov's command and had moved up the Careenage Ravine to turn the British left, were caught, just as they emerged on to the plateau in rear of Pennefather's line, between two bodies of British troops hurrying to the scene of action.
The British troops on or near the ground were the 2nd Division, 3000, encamped on the ridge; Codrington's brigade of the Light Division, 1400, on the slopes west of the Careenage Ravine; and the Guards' brigade, 1350, about 4 m.