Meanwhile the fleet from Corinth and the rest of the confederates in the Crissaean gulf, which was to have co-operated with Cnemus and prevented the coast Acarnanians from joining their countrymen in the interior, was disabled from doing so by being compelled about the same time as the battle at Stratus to fight with Phormio and the twenty Athenian vessels stationed at Naupactus.
For they were watched, as they coasted along out of the gulf, by Phormio, who wished to attack in the open sea.
But the Corinthians and allies had started for Acarnania without any idea of fighting at sea, and with vessels more like transports for carrying soldiers; besides which, they never dreamed of the twenty Athenian ships venturing to engage their forty-seven.
However, while they were coasting along their own shore, there were the Athenians sailing along in line with them; and when they tried to cross over from Patrae in Achaea to the mainland on the other side, on their way to Acarnania, they saw them again coming out from Chalcis and the river Evenus to meet them.
They slipped from their moorings in the night, but were observed, and were at length compelled to fight in mid passage.
Each state that contributed to the armament had its own general; the Corinthian commanders were Machaon, Isocrates, and Agatharchidas.
The Peloponnesians ranged their vessels in as large a circle as possible without leaving an opening, with the prows outside and the sterns in; and placed within all the small craft in company, and their five best sailors to issue out at a moment's notice and strengthen any point threatened by the enemy.