History for All the People is a NC State Archives blog that has recently posted a blog about the 1901 Confederate Pensions project.
Through the Digital Access division of the department, they have begun scanning and uploading the Pension Applications Online.
You can access the site at North Carolina Digital Collections 1901 Confederate Pension Application Online. You can browse all the applications or type in surname of interest or McDowell County for results. (Or any of the 100 NC Counties)
Currently there are approximately 200 images for McDowell County, NC. Remember to bookmark and check back often as this is an ongoing project, only about 4,500 0f the 35,000 are completed.